Thiago 'Marreta' Santos is one of the only fighters against whom the former #1 pound-for-pound Jon Jones showed chinks in his armor. Despite visible injuries in both knees sustained during the fight, Thiago Santos lost only by a narrow split decision - Jones' first in his career.
As the Brazilian fighter returns after spending a year and a half in recovery from his ruptured knee ligaments, he is set to face fellow countryman Glover Teixeira at UFC Vegas 13.
Speaking with Combate ahead of the fight, 'Marreta' addressed his return to the Octagon and commented on the possibility of a rematch with 'Bones'.
Thiago Santos on the Jon Jones rematch
Thiago Santos admitted that he wants the rematch with Jon Jones to happen as much as the fans do. But his main goal is to become the light heavyweight champion for now.
However, the rematch is there on his mind and this time he plans on fighting it with two good knees, and show the world what can happen if he is fully healthy throughout the bout.
"Everyone wants to see this fight, so do I, but I want to become a champion, that's my main focus. But of course, one I will face him again, and have this fight until the end, with a good knee, is something we wanted to see what would happen."
Thiago Santos on Israel Adesanya moving up to LHW
The last time Thiago Santos fought Jon Jones, he was the light heavyweight champion. He has relinquished the belt since, and it has been picked up by Jan Blachowicz defeating Dominick Reyes in a title fight in September.
Under normal circumstances, the winner of the fight between Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira would have been the next in line to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the 205-pound belt. However, there has been a slight change in plans.
Dana White has confirmed that middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will move up to light heavyweight to challenge Blachowicz, which means there can be a new champion in the division before either of them get a shot at the title.
However, Thiago Santos thinks Israel Adesanya has a his advantage over Jan Blachowicz and is likely to win if he moves up to light heavyweight.
"Anything can happen. Dana White said that the winner of this fight would fight for the belt, now he said that Adesanya will fight… Everything can change, everything changes all the time. It has nothing defined yet. But to answer your question, if Adesanya goes up, I think he has a certain advantage against Blachowicz. I think, it takes a little bit of an advantage. Match fitting is better for Adesanya."
Santos himself has a TKO win over Jan Blachowicz in his outing before the Jon Jones fight, back in February 2019.Published 06 Nov 2020, 02:25 IST