Tatame reports that a new fight has been added to November 9th's UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson. Injury sidelined TUF Brazil 2 finalist Santiago Ponzinibbio will make his debut against former Ring of Combat champion and rising welterweight prospect Ryan LaFlare.
Ponzinibbio entered the TUF Brazil 2 house as one of the shows most exciting prospects and his performances on the show did little to diminish that hype. Unfortunately for the UFC's first Argentinian, he broke his hand in a three round semi-final victory over eventual tournament winner Leonardo Santos. At only 26 Ponzinibbio sports an 18-1 record with only two of those victories coming by way of decision and only 5 of his stoppages outside the first round. His only career loss is to fellow prospect and TUF Brazil 1 competitor Leonardo Mafra.
Across from him will be the much less hyped, but equally talented Ryan LaFlare. LaFlare came up through the Ring of Combat ranks, one of the most intense regional proving grounds in MMA. He's undefeated at 8-0 and brings a wrestle centric offense rounded out with a slick submission game. He will be making his return to the UFC after a seven month layoff, following a unanimous decision victory over Benny Alloway back in April. LaFlare is a few years older, but has a lot fewer fights under his belt as well, stemming from a two and a half year layoff due to injuries and the fallout of the Strikeforce merger. After missing most of 2011 due to wrist surgery he tore his ACL shortly after signing with Strikeforce and missed most of 2012. By the time he was healthy Strikeforce was cancelling all of it's planned shows which meant it wasn't until the full transfer of fighters to the UFC and early this year until he could fight again. Seven months may not be a quick turnaround but it's practically light speed compared to his past few years.
This truly promises to be an interesting competitive fight. Both men are reasonably well rounded with a record split by KO and submission victories. LaFlare truly appears to have some standout skills with his grappling so it will be interesting to see if he tries to test Ponzinibbio there immediately. UFC Fight Night 32 takes place on November 9th in Goiana, Brazil and is headlined by Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson. Stay tuned for more news and fight announcements as the card approaches.
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