The Argentinian welterweight was scheduled to headline UFC Chile against Usman on May 19, but injured his left hand a couple of weeks ago. He tried to keep training despite the pain, but was told by his doctor that he needs to undergo surgery.
”The hand injury happened in sparring,” Ponzinibbio told MMA Fighting. “I kept training because I wanted to fight, but it was getting worse. The doctor looked at it and said, ‘Santiago, you can’t fight. It would be better if you had surgery now to fix it right away.’”
Ponzinibbio will visit a specialist on Friday to determine when he’s having surgery, and then he will have an exact idea of when he will be able to return to training and schedule his next fight.
The American Top Team fighter, who won his last six in the UFC, got the chance to headline his second UFC event as the company booked its first-ever card in South America outside of Brazil. Out with an injury, Ponzinibbio will be replaced by Demian Maia.
”I really wanted to fight,” Ponzinibbio said. “I knew I would headline this card a long time ago and was anxious and excited for it. It sucks, but it’s part of the job. I was very upset, but I will come back stronger.”