Ponzinibbio: 'Lucky punch' caused KO loss, I will still be UFC champ
Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty

UFC welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio thinks his last bout didn't accurately determine who the better fighter was.

Ponzinibbio suffered a first-round knockout loss to Li Jingliang in January during his return from a two-year layoff caused by numerous health issues and injuries.

However, Ponzinibbio thinks if he fought Li 10 times, he would win more often than not.

"He gave me just one punch. Lucky punch," Ponzinibbio told theScore. "It touched in the right spot. This doesn't mean nothing. If he beat me for 15 minutes, it's OK. But no. He only (landed) one punch. In this sport, this happens all the time. Not always do the best fighters win."

Ponzinibbio was riding a ton of momentum before the layoff. After finishing Neil Magny in November 2018, he was ranked No. 7 in the division and had won seven fights in a row. However, that momentum cooled down with the time off and then disappeared completely after the loss to Li, which raised questions about whether the 34-year-old was still a contender.

"Argentine Dagger" admitted he felt a little rusty in the fight with Li, adding that he feels much better going into his next matchup against 170-pound prospect Miguel Baeza at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on Saturday.

"I can't compare my last camp with this camp," Ponzinibbio said. "It's another person. I am much better in everything."

After sitting out for what might've been two of his prime years, Ponzinibbio just wants to stay active.

"I'm looking to put good activity, fight the most I can," he said. "I lost too much time. Now I will try to fight the most I can. I don't like to lose more time. I'm very excited to be back to doing what I love to do."

The Florida resident is no longer a ranked welterweight, but he thinks he could get back to that position - and even to the UFC welterweight championship - with a victory over Baeza and a few more after that.

"I'm going to smash this kid," Ponzinibbio said of his opponent. "I'm going to show to the world who I am. And after that, I'm going to go on to the next one. I don't care who. I asked to fight soon. They gave me this kid. OK, I'm going to smash this kid. They give me another kid, I'm going to smash another kid. If I have to smash 10 guys, 20 guys, I don't care. I know I'm going to fight for the belt.

"I know I'm one of the best in the world," he added. "I know I can be champion of the world."

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Ponzinibbio: 'Lucky punch' caused KO loss, I will still be UFC champ
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