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Ponzinibbio went to greet the Olympic basketball team and had a cross with Campazzo

Santiago Ponzinibbio arrives at the hotel dining room where he concentrates the Olympic basketball team on Las Vegas And it doesn’t take him a minute to captivate everyone with his way of being. Uninhibited and relaxed, the kid from La Plata neighborhood who is now a ufc star worldwide it is presented and applauded by all the players.

“How are you guys? How good that I was able to come and meet them, I love being here … I lived abroad for a long time and meeting fellow countrymen, so far from home, it does me good “, He tells them after greeting each member of the campus. Not so high (1m70), especially next to our players, but very morrudo and with a carved physique, he stands in front of everyone and does not stop talking, asking and answering, with an overflowing energy. He takes off his chinstrap but immediately calms everyone down. “I have already had several PCRs done in the week, all negative. They have me very controlled because I work on the ESPN broadcast for the McGregor-Poirier fight. If you want, I’ll show you … “, tira, in one of the first reactions that surprises the group.

“We are preparing, but not as well as you”, responds Facundo Campazzo, who quickly understands the wave of the visitor and takes the voice of the group, when he receives the question from Ponzinibbio about the work of the selected in Las Vegas. “Will you fight in the evening?”, He consults the point guard and the fighter explains why not, with a loquacity that hits. “I came to comment on the fight because I am still recovering from the battle a month ago. It was a war, we killed each other … It was even said, which was one of the best fights of the year “, starts and goes into the details of his triumph against Michael Baeza, on June 5, at the UFC 28 evening in Vegas.

“I started to move a bit, because I’m good at boxing, you saw, but I started skating, the opponent started kicking my legs and I couldn’t get out… When the round ended, I had to make a change. They saw that in high performance they are seconds, you have to click … I stopped moving and became the technician, and inside I said ‘here you have to lay Argentine eggs’. And well, we killed each other with pineapples but we won on points, 29-28 “, he relates and thus receives the ovation of all.

The dialogue, then, returns to basketball and Ponzinibbio wants to know how important these friendlies are before traveling to Tokyo. “They are tough, right? Especially the United States, I imagine. It is always nice to play against the best, to go playing to compete and catch the timing ”, he supposes while everyone agrees. They answer him when is the Olympic debut (26, against Slovenia) and Campazzo tells him that the team has a surprise for him. “We signed this shirt for you”She tells him and he reacts like a baby. “Noooo, look how good, they signed my shirt,” he yells. And it surprises again. “I put it on now, today I’m going out with this one”, explains after putting on the blue and white and will start jumping and throwing fists into the air, in typical boxer action.

Everyone enters into confidence and someone jokingly throws the name of a player who can challenge the fighter. “Come on, Taya, cheer up”, is heard while Gallizzi, muscular and rocky pivot, laughs and wins the middle of the round. “I swell for McGregor, huh”, he warns, knowing that Santi trains with Poirier and had said that he would win. Ponzinibbio understands the show, as a good fighter. “A face to face”, strip. And he makes a bad face, as in weigh-ins where he wants to intimidate the rival. Everyone laughs. The 2m06 pivot stands, looking down, and they take the classic photo. “Good thing he plays basketball,” jokes Ponzinibbio, 36 centimeters shorter.

Santiago Ponzinibbio

Someone, then, fights Campazzo to cheer him up face to face. And the star goes to meet him, but he cannot hold his gaze… He closes his eyes and, as witty kid that he is, looks at the camera (see video) and makes the sign of waving a (white) flag, as if in surrender. Ponzinibbio surprises him, goes to his back and takes him by the neck with his arm. “This is a choke. I leave you breathless and you fall asleep in a second, sometimes you don’t even realize it “, He explains about that key so used in the UFC that allows us to win by knockout after releasing it and our figure breathes.

The talk comes to an end. Santi thanks again the opportunity, greets everyone and leaves. A different moment that left everyone looking for his fights on YouTube and asking about the history of this fighter who, like many of the players on the team, made himself from the bottom and reached the top. On Saturday night, in addition, he entertained the entire Selection.

Text: Julián Mozo, CAB press

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