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21st Nov 2018

Santiago Ponzinibbio claims he can finish Conor McGregor

What's "red panty night" in Spanish?

Darragh Murphy

What’s “red panty night” in Spanish?

Conor McGregor’s name seems to be on the lips of every ranked fighter at featherweight, lightweight and welterweight because of the guaranteed payday that comes with sharing the Octagon with ‘The Notorious’.

Even the likes of middleweight legend Anderson Silva has campaigned for a fight against McGregor and because of the disparity between what McGregor’s opponents make and the standard going rate for a UFC pay-per-view main event slot, we can’t say we blame the Brazilian or anyone else for doing their damnedest to make it happen.

Fresh from his knockout victory over Neil Magny in Buenos Aires on Saturday night, Santiago Ponzinibbio became the latest fighter to call out McGregor, should the Irishman choose to return at 170lbs when his issues with the Nevada State Athletic Commission are cleared up.

“You give me Conor, I am a better striker than him,” Argentina’s Ponzinibbio told MMA Junkie. “He’s really good at trash talk and he’s a really good businessman, but I’m a better fighter. This is different. I’m a better striker. I have better timing. I have better power. I’ll finish him, for sure. I’ll finish McGregor.

“I’ll finish GSP – GSP is old. He’s a good guy. I like him. I’m a big fan. But I’m better. I’ll finish him. I’m ready for both. I’m an exciting fighter.

“I know I’m ready. I know I’ll finish Tyron. I know I’ll knock him out, but I need the opportunity. If you give me the fight with GSP, I’ll knock him out for sure. I’ll knock anybody at 170lbs if you give me the opportunity.”

Ponzinibbio now holds the second longest win streak in the welterweight division, going seven fights unbeaten since December 2015.

While a match-up with McGregor seems ambitious for Ponzinibbio, an interesting narrative of vengeance would exist because the Argentine welterweight has a controversial win over McGregor’s long-time teammate Gunnar Nelson.

Ponzinibbio has also set his sights on a title shot but with the UFC reportedly interested in setting up welterweight champion Tyron Woodley with former interim champ Colby Covington, Ponzinibbio might have to wait his turn which is something that is proving rather frustrating for the 32-year-old.

“Tyron Woodley, when he got the title shot, he had six fights for the company,” Ponzinibbio said: “He won four and lost two. He lost to Rory MacDonald, and then got two fights – two easy fights. Koscheck and that other guy, and they gave him a title shot. C’mon! This is ridiculous!

“Always, my fights are exciting. He’s not an exciting fighter. I opened a new market in my country with the pressure and the expectations. I won for my people – that is something Tyron is not ready for. And that is something he will never do.”