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Santiago Ponzinibbio offers to fight Tyron Woodley ‘with one arm tied behind my back’ at UFC 249

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Buenos Aires-Ponzinibbio vs Magny
Santiago Ponzinibbio knocked out Neil Magny in the main event of UFC Argentina in his last fight.
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

After volunteering to a catchweight bout against Tony Ferguson to save UFC 249 on April 18, Santiago Ponzinibbio is now offering to share the cage with former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

“The Chosen One” offered his services to the UFC on a social media post on Saturday, informing the public he “gave my management team executive permission to make it happen” and was “training like a machine [and] ready to walk through someone.”

Ponzinibbio, winner of seven in a row in the 170-pound weight class dating back to 2015, reached out to MMA Fighting to campaign for the bout.

“Just saw on the media that Tyron Woodley is saying he’s ready to fight at UFC 249, that he’s training and ready to do the main event, so I’m here,” Ponzinibbio said. “I’m ready to take this fight. I’d be happy to do this main event and knock him out in the first round. This is my fight. In two weeks, I’m in.”

Woodley mentioned his longtime rival Colby Covington’s name in his Twitter post, asking if he’s “in or not.”

“He’s asking for Colby Covington but he’s not ready, he fractured his jaw. I’m ready, brother,” Ponzinibbio said. “I’m ready to beat him up.”

UFC 249 was originally scheduled for April 18 in Brooklyn, but the promotion can’t hold the card in New York due to the new coronavirus outbreak. With Khabib Nurmagomedov stranded in Russia and out of the lightweight main event bout with Ferguson, the UFC is looking into options for a new headlining attraction at a yet-to-be-determined location.

Woodley hasn’t fought since a one-sided loss defeat to Kamaru Usman that put an end to his seven-fight unbeaten streak in March 2019. The former champion was scheduled to face Leon Edwards in the main event of UFC London on March 21 before the event got cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ponzinibbio believes Woodley is looking for an easy fight on two-weeks’ notice, so he presented an argument as to why Woodley should sign a contract with his name on it.

“I’ve been away for a while with an injury and I haven’t trained for a while. What more does he want?” said Ponzinibbio, who hasn't competed since a fourth-round knockout win over Neil Magny at UFC Argentina in November 2018. “He only takes easy fights so I’m coming off an injury, which is great for him, but I’ll still beat the sh*t out of him and knock him out in the first round.”

“I’m not training, I’m away for a year and a half, there are no other advantages I can give him,” he continued. “I’ll fight with one arm tied behind my back if he wants, and I’ll still beat the sh*t out of this guy and knock him out in the first round. Let’s see if he’s man enough to take this fight.”