Two of the most violent strikers in the welterweight division will collide at UFC 269 when Geoff Neal takes on Santiago Ponzinibbio.
Neal (13-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC) and Ponzinibbio (28-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) have agreed to meet at the Dec. 11 pay-per-view event, MMA Junkie verified with a person close to the situation following an initial report from ESPN. The person requested anonymity because the promotion hasn’t made an official announcement.
UFC 269 does not have an official location or venue, but is expected to take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Neal, No. 14 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie welterweight rankings, will attempt to get his first win in nearly two years. After starting his octagon tenure with a five-fight winning streak, Neal has gone through a myriad of health issues that have coincided with back-to-back losses against Neil Magny and Stephen Thompson.
Santiago, an honorable mention in the latest 170-pound rankings, aims to continue his momentum after handing Miguel Baeza his first career loss at UFC Fight Night 189 in June. The Argentinian is 8-1 in his past nine octagon appearances, with the lone blemish being a knockout loss to Li Jingliang after he took a nearly three-year layoff from competition due to health woes.
The latest UFC 269 lineup now includes:
- Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier – for lightweight title
- Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena – for women’s bantamweight title
- Leon Edwards vs. Jorge Masvidal
- Randy Costa vs. Tony Kelley
- Cody Garbrandt vs. Kai Kara-France
- Priscila Cachoeira vs. Gillian Robertson
- Maycee Barber vs. opponent TBA
- Dricus Du Plessis vs. Andre Muniz
- Alex Perez vs. Matt Schnell
- Ryan Hall vs. Darrick Minner
- Dominick Cruz vs. Pedro Munhoz
- Sean O’Malley vs. Raulian Paiva
- Geoff Neal vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio