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Santiago Ponzinibbio: ‘Scared’ Rafael dos Anjos ‘is running from the fight’

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Buenos Aires-Ponzinibbio vs Magny
Santiago Ponzinibbio last fought in November, knocking out Neil Magny.
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Some key match-ups have been made in the upper echelon of the UFC welterweight division over the last few days, from Woodley-Usman to Till-Masvidal to Edwards-Nelson to Thompson-Pettis, and another booking appears to be imminent.

Coming off a big knockout win over Neil Magny in his home country in November, Argentina’s Santiago Ponzinibbio has engaged in a social media war with former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos recently. Among other unpleasant words, Ponzinibbio called dos Anjos a “diva” and dos Anjos called him “drunk”.

The duo seemed to agree to meet inside the Octagon in the near future, but Ponzinibbio now accuses the Brazilian welterweight to avoid the match-up.

”I truly believe the fight will happen,” Ponzinibbio told MMA Fighting. “The only way it doesn’t happen is if he turns it down. He’s saying on Twitter that he’s in, but the contract never comes. He says that on Twitter, but the truth is he doesn’t want to fight me. He’s scared.

”It makes me want to beat him up even more because he says he’s in, but then turns it down to the matchmakers,” he continued. “He’s running from the fight. He’s scared. That pisses me off because he says something, but acts differently.”

Winner of his last seven under the UFC banner, including victories over Magny, Mike Perry and Gunnar Nelson, Ponzinibbio is targeting a late-April or May return to the cage. He considers dos Anjos to be “a good fight” and has that as his main focus right now, but would be down to facing “anyone” if it doesn’t come to fruition.

dos Anjos is coming off back-to-back losses, dropping decisions to Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington in 2018 after a good 3-0 start as a welterweight.

”Let’s see if he really wants to fight me or if he’s just talk,” Ponzinibbio said. “If he agrees to another fight, it’s pretty clear he’s scared to fight me.”

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