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Santiago Ponzinibbio out of UFC 245 fight vs. Robbie Lawler

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The stacked UFC 245 pay-per-view card has lost one of its big fights.

UFC Fight Night: Magny v Ponzinibbio Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Santiago Ponzinibbio’s return to the Octagon will have to wait.

“Gente Boa” is out of a welterweight bout against former champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 245 due to staph infection, MMA Junkie reported Friday night. UFC officials have yet to confirm the news.

UFC 245 takes place Dec. 14 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It is unclear at this time whether Lawler will remain on the card.

Riding a seven-fight winning streak, Ponzinibbio should have a lot of momentum. But talk about him has been rather quiet due to his inactivity in the cage. Ponzinibbio, 33, hasn’t fought since a November 2018 win over Neil Magny in the UFC Bueno Aires main event. Ponzinibbio also holds notable wins over Mike Perry and Gunnar Nelson.

Lawler was looking to bounce back from a three-fight skid, which includes a one-sided loss to Colby Covington in August and a controversial submission against Ben Askren in March. “Ruthless” has won once in his past five outings. He held the UFC welterweight title from 2014 to 2016, losing it to Tyron Woodley at UFC 201.

UFC 245 is expected to be headlined by a 170-pound title bout between champion Kamaru Usman and Covington. Also on the card, Max Holloway defends his featherweight title against Alexander Volkanovski, and women’s bantamweight titleholder Amanda Nunes faces Germaine de Randamie.