What’s on the line in Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Michel Pereira?
The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 206 will feature veteran and No. 14-ranked contender Santiago Ponzinibbio defending his spot in the welterweight division against fan-favorite Michel Pereira. This May 21 contest is bound to display a great clash of striking styles between the fundamentally sound Ponzinibbio and the high flying Pereira, but it also comes with high stakes for both competitors.
Stakes for Ponzinibbio
Things haven’t been easy for the Argentinian in the last couple of years. Untimely, injuries have plagued him when his momentum seemed to be the highest back in November 2018 when he earned his seventh straight win with a KO over Neil Magny in his home country of Argentina.
The dialogue of Ponzinibbio challenging for the title was growing quickly after such a dominant performance. However, when he finally returned to the Octagon in January 2021, he had a year of mixed results, losing two out of his last three. Surely he would like to regain the momentum he held previously and a win over an exciting fighter like Pereira on the co-main event spot can get him closer to the title shot. Of course, that is easier said than done with the dangerous Pereira looking to go from unranked to ranked by taking the spot of the American Top Team fighter.
Stakes for Pereira
Michel Pereira is riding a 4-fight winning streak and will finally get his shot at one of the top-15 in the 170-pound division. Obviously, a huge benefit of getting this win would be becoming a ranked fighter with the opportunity to move up the ladder. However, he can possibly gain something even more with a win over Ponzinibbio.
Pereira is known for his unpredictable and exciting fighting style which seems to be something coming out of a high-wired kung fu movie. However, ever since his loss to Tristan Connelly back in 2019, fans have questioned his chances against the elite of the welterweight division given his flashy and, some may say, inefficient approach. The Brazilian has become slightly less showy and more economical in the last four contests. A win over Ponzinibbio can send a message to the masses that his unorthodox style is dangerous for any welterweight.
Featured Image credit:
Embed from Getty Images