Top-10 ranked welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio has been calling for a fight with two-time UFC title contender Stephen Thompson, but he now sees Cerrone as a good backup plan after the 34-year-old’s impressive first-round TKO win over Yancy Medeiros in the main event of UFC Austin on Sunday night.
A winner of his last six UFC fights, Ponzinibbio is targeting a return to the Octagon on May 19, when the promotion is expected to host its first event in Santiago, Chile.
“The best options are Thompson and Cerrone because of their fighting styles,” Ponzinibbio told MMA Fighting. “It would be a great show against either one of them, but Thompson is saying that he’s injured. After such a beautiful performance last night, Cerrone would be a great option.”
The UFC has yet to officially announce the Fight Night card in Chile, but it will mark the company’s first trip to South America other than the previous 30 events in Brazil.
One of the top South American fighters in the UFC today, Ponzinibbio is expected to headline the event in Santiago.
“I was watching Cerrone’s fight last night and he was really impressive,” the Argentinian said. “It was a good knockout. He has a lot of knockouts, and I think it would be a fun fight for the fans. Cerrone and I could do a fight that will go down in history, in an event that will already make history in Chile.”
Cerrone (33-10, 1 NC) snapped a three-fight losing skid with his victory over Medeiros, improving to 20-7 since joining the UFC in 2011.