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Ex-champ 'RDA' agrees to fight Santiago Ponzinibbio, though not quite in the Argentinian's terms

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If Santiago Ponzinibbio wanted a fight with Rafael dos Anjos, he’s got one. At least online, anyway.

Ponzinibbio was supposed to have headlined the UFC’s debut in Chile in May, before a hand injury knocked him out of the event. The promotion is headed toward Ponzinibbio’s home country of Argentina later this year, though, which would make the on-the-rise welterweight a logical choice for a top position in the card.

Ponzinibbio (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC), however, has yet to be booked. And, rather than just wait around for a resolution, he took it upon himself to find an opponent. So he, at first, respectfully invited ex-champ dos Anjos (28-9 MMA, 17-7 UFC) to be his dance partner (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

The polite call-out, however, turned a little more contentious after the ex-champ revealed plans of returning in November, possibly against Kamaru Usman, as per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. Speaking to, an impatient Ponzinibbio accused “RDA” of ducking him and reiterated that sentiment while tweeting out the story.

Whether that will translate to an actual booking, we’ll see, but it was enough to catch dos Anjos’ attention. He seems to have obliged to the meeting, though not in Argentina (via Twitter):

Pô Boludo…você acha mesmo que eu estou afrouxando para você? Você me deu uma única opção, mas eu te dou duas:
1. Me avise quando puder aparecer na @rvca para discutirmos isso cara-a-cara. Traz o protetor de boca.
2. Vamos lutar em Vegas ou Los Angeles.
No aguardo.

— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) August 10, 2018

“Boludo (a diss term used in Brazil for Argentinians)… Do you really think I’m running from you? You gave me one option, but I’ll give you two:

1. Let me know when you’re able to show up at RVCA so we can discuss this face-to-face. Bring your mouthpiece.

2. Let’s fight in Vegas or Los Angeles. I’m waiting.”

Ponzinibbio replied in both dos Anjos’ native Portuguese and in English (via Twitter):

If I hit you in your gym, no one’s going to see it. So that’s why we will do this with the @ufc You wanted a fight in November, here you go, already closed. #ChristmasCameEarly @seanshelby @ufc @ufc_brasil @UFCEspanol @canalCombate @danawhite @Mickmaynard2

— Santiago Ponzinibbio (@SPonzinibbioMMA) August 11, 2018

“If I hit you in your gym, no one’s going to see it. So that’s why we will do this with the UFC. You wanted a fight in November, here you go, already closed.”

UFC Fight Night 140 is set for Nov. 17. The promotion has only officially announced the event is going to take place in South America but, according to a report by MMAFighting, the event will happen at Luna Park arena in the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires.

Ponzinibbio, 31, is currently riding an impressive six-fight streak, with recent wins over welterweight notables Nordine Taleb, Gunnar Nelson and Mike Perry. He’s had surgery on his hand following the withdrawal from the main event in Chile, and is clamoring for a stab at a top-5 opponent in light of his recent results.

Former lightweight champion dos Anjos, 33, in turn, has recently lost to Colby Covington on an interim 170-pound title bid. Before that, he went on a three-fight winning streak to kick off his welterweight run. He’s had plastic surgery on his left ear after a previous cut was worsened during the Covington bout and is also about to welcome a third child with his wife, Cristiane dos Anjos.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.


Colby Covington def. Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 225: Best photos

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