Following his knockout loss to Santiago Ponzinibbio this past weekend, Gunnar Nelson said an eye poke he took played a decisive factor in the defeat. But, not surprisingly, the rising welterweight doesn’t see things the same way as his last opponent.
Nelson scored a couple of punches early on, in the main event for UFC Fight Night 113, before Ponzinibbio landed a hard right hand and then finished the Icelandic fighter with vicious punches. After the fight, Nelson reported he was seeing “two Ponzinibbio’s” before the fight’s final moments, due to an uncalled eye poke.
Well, since then, the Argentinean fighter has had this to say about Nelson’s claim (quote via MMA Fighting):
“I went there to knock him out and thank God it went as expected, I won by knockout,” Ponzinibbio said. “If (the eye poke) happened, of course it wasn’t intentional, but I watched the video again and didn’t see it. I don’t know. But it was a knockout with the right hand that I landed on him. The right hand hurt him and I finished with a precise jab.”
“It doesn’t take anything away from the win,” Ponzinibbio add. “What he says doesn’t change anything. There’s a referee inside the Octagon looking at it, and he can stop the fight any time he wants. The No. 8 in the world lasted 82 seconds. He’s 28, he’s versatile, a great athlete, one of the best in the division, has a bright future in the UFC, will be at the top, but it was an excellent win….”
You can understand why Ponzinibbio’s saying this, as he doesn’t want any controversy tied to the victory, which was massive for him. Further, he may indeed believe that no eye poke incurred. It did look like, however, Nelson’s eye was bothering him before the fight’s dramatic turn.
All the eye poke talk aside, one thing’s for certain, Ponzinibbio continues to impress and he’ll likely be booked to face another, top ten ranked 170’er. The heavy handed fighter has won five straight bouts.