UFC’s Thiago Santos Not Interested In Tuneup Fight Upon Return

Don’t ask Thiago Santos about taking a tuneup fight upon his return off double knee surgery. Santos turned in quite the effort in his light heavyweight title bout against champion Jon Jones back in July. Santos became the first man to take a scor…

Don’t ask Thiago Santos about taking a tuneup fight upon his return off double knee surgery. Santos turned in quite the effort in his light heavyweight title bout against champion Jon Jones back in July. Santos became the first man to take a scorecard over Jones, but it wasn’t enough as he suffered a split […]

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Thiago Santos Coach Doesn’t Think Jon Jones Fights ‘So Reckless’ Again After Close Victory

At UFC 239 earlier this year, Jon Jones was put through, arguably, the closest fight of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career. Jones main evented the pay-per-view (PPV) against Thiago Santos, going all five rounds with the heavy-handed Brazilian, and just edging him out on the scorecards via split decision to retain the light heavyweight […]

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At UFC 239 earlier this year, Jon Jones was put through, arguably, the closest fight of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.

Jones main evented the pay-per-view (PPV) against Thiago Santos, going all five rounds with the heavy-handed Brazilian, and just edging him out on the scorecards via split decision to retain the light heavyweight championship. Fans would love to see an immediate rematch between the pair, as Santos gave Jones fits throughout their contest, but the Brazilian is nursing two surgically repaired knees at the moment.

Speaking to MMA Fighting, Santos’ coach, “Tata” Duarte, reveals that the goal is to jump right back in against Jones upon Santos’ recovery.

“Our goal is to return against Jon Jones,” Duarte said. “Thiago is fueled by challenges, he had that bitter taste in his mouth, and this rematch would be the fair thing to do.”

In the meantime, the Santos camp fully expects Jones to fight one more time before fighting Santos again. However, Duarte is confident Jones will remain undefeated, allowing Santos another opportunity at handing Jones his first legitimate loss in MMA competition. The reason for this is simple. Duarte doesn’t believe Jones will fight “so reckless” again after his close call with Santos.

“Jon Jones will fight in the end of the year, and he will probably win,” Duarte said. “I don’t see anyone in the division giving Jon Jones any difficulties other than Thiago. (Jones) saw what happened (against Santos), and I think he won’t come so reckless. We’ll be back by March – that’s our goal – and we’ll be ready. Ready, motivated, happy, and with a different result this time.”

Jones has gone the distance with both Alexander Gustafsson and Daniel Cormier in the past, only for the latter two to be finished in their respective rematches with “Bones.” However, Duarte explained why he believes Santos’ rematch with the once youngest champion in UFC history will be different.

“It’s hard to map out what Thiago does,” Duarte said. “He has so many unorthodox strikes, (and) he moves too much. Thiago switches stances a lot, so it’s hard to take him down. We have to bring something different for a rematch, of course, but the main thing is to make Thiago 100 percent again. If he’s fully recovered, with a strong mind, he’ll put on a good fight.

“I think Gustafsson felt the pressure (in the rematch). I don’t know if he wasn’t well-trained. He didn’t appear to be in a good shape (and) looked a little chubby in the rematch. For someone who moves a lot, if you gain weight, it pays against you. And Cormier, I think that was 100 percent psychological. It wasn’t his day, you know? It wasn’t his day.”

Do you think Jones will fight more conservatively moving forward into his next bouts?

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Thiago Santos Looking In Great Shape After Knee Surgery (Photos)

Thiago Santos practically fought Jon Jones on one leg at UFC 239. He still put on an impressive performance as took ‘Bones’ the distance and lost by split-decision. Following the fight, he underwent knee surgery on both knees, after the full injuries were as following. A torn ACL, MCL, PCL and meniscus in his left […]

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Thiago Santos practically fought Jon Jones on one leg at UFC 239. He still put on an impressive performance as took ‘Bones’ the distance and lost by split-decision.

Following the fight, he underwent knee surgery on both knees, after the full injuries were as following. A torn ACL, MCL, PCL and meniscus in his left knee and a partially torn meniscus in his right.

Now, after surgery and rehab, Thiago Santos look to be in incredible shape, as he took to Instagram to share some photos.

View this post on Instagram

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A post shared by Thiago "Marreta" Santos (@tmarretamma) on

It is obviously a big difference between now and when he first had the surgery as he said he could barely and eat and walk.

“It’s been seven days since the surgeries on my knees,” he wrote on Twitter following the surgery. “I must admit, these days are tough, filled with a lot of pain. I can’t sleep or eat properly due to the medications. I even fear using the bathroom because the walk there is a battle.”

The estimates timeframe was about the middle of 2020 he will return. When he does, a Jon Jones rematch could make sense but it seems likely he would get a fight beforehand just to test out his knee. But, a question many continue to have, is how would Thiago Santos have looked against Jones had it not been for the knee, and would he have won the fight?

Those are questions we will never know.

Who do you think Thiago Santos should fight when he returns to the Octagon?

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Thiago Santos Believes Jon Jones Will Remain Champion Until He Returns

Thiago Santos is recovering from knee surgeries after his fight against Jon Jones at UFC 239. He was fighting with torn ligaments and still went the distance and won the fight on one judge’s scorecards. Now, the Brazilian says the recovery is goi…

Thiago Santos is recovering from knee surgeries after his fight against Jon Jones at UFC 239. He was fighting with torn ligaments and still went the distance and won the fight on one judge’s scorecards. Now, the Brazilian says the recovery is going well and focused on getting back to 100 percent healthy. Once he […]

The post Thiago Santos Believes Jon Jones Will Remain Champion Until He Returns appeared first on MMA News.

Thiago Santos Expects Tune-Up Fight Before Jon Jones Rematch

While Thiago Santos would like to get his rematch with Jon Jones right away, he acknowledges it would be hard for the UFC to do that. Santos is currently recovering from knee surgery following his title fight with Jones last month. Despite injuring his right knee early on in the fight, “Marreta” was able to […]

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While Thiago Santos would like to get his rematch with Jon Jones right away, he acknowledges it would be hard for the UFC to do that.

Santos is currently recovering from knee surgery following his title fight with Jones last month. Despite injuring his right knee early on in the fight, “Marreta” was able to take “Bones” the distance and even won the contest according to one judge.

However, the other two saw it in favor of Jones who defended his title via split decision. Because of the nature of the fight, many have called for Santos to get an immediate rematch once he’s ready to compete again.

Santos would love nothing more but expects to get a tune-up fight first before running things back with Jones:

“If it was up to me, being 100 percent, I don’t like this idea that, ‘Oh, he needs one (easier) fight because he’s coming off a long layoff,’” Santos told MMA Fighting. “I don’t think it’s needed. But I know it’s hard for the UFC to do that, to come back in a title fight.

I believe they would give me a fight and a good performance would earn me another title fight. I believe that’s what’s going to happen.”

Santos is only expected to compete in 2020, but he has no doubt that his next crack at the title will be against Jones again:

“I think he remains champion,” Santos said. “He remains champion until I come back.”

Do you think Santos should get an immediate rematch? Or would a tune-up fight first make sense?

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Dominick Reyes Thought Jon Jones Lost To Thiago Santos

Add Dominick Reyes to the list of people who thought Thiago Santos defeated Jon Jones. Jones defeated Santos in the main event of their UFC 239 headliner last month to retain his light heavyweight crown. It was notably a first-ever split decision win for “Bones” as one judge scored the contest in favor of Santos. […]

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Add Dominick Reyes to the list of people who thought Thiago Santos defeated Jon Jones.

Jones defeated Santos in the main event of their UFC 239 headliner last month to retain his light heavyweight crown. It was notably a first-ever split decision win for “Bones” as one judge scored the contest in favor of Santos.

It’s all the more impressive considering the Brazilian suffered a knee injury early on in the fight but still managed to take Jones the distance. And for Reyes, he had “Maretta” winning the fight by a round:

“I actually had him [Jones] losing by a round,” Reyes said (via MMA Mania). “I was there, I was sitting cageside. A completely objective, unbiased judging with my own eyes, I saw Thiago winning the hand exchanges and kinda pushing him back.

“The Devastator” believes Jones emerged victorious that night simply because he knows how to look impressive in front of the judges.

That said, Reyes isn’t complaining as he now plans to fulfill his destiny of taking out Jones:

“Jon is a great champion, he knows how to win, he knows how to win the judges over,” Reyes added. “Much respect to him … Now I can fulfill my destiny, which is taking out Jon.”

Reyes will first have to get past former middleweight champion Chris Weidman who he meets in the UFC Boston headliner in October.

Do you think Reyes is capable of beating Jones?

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