UFC News: Thiago Santos comments on headlining his first UFC event against Jimi Manuwa
What's the story?
For the very first time in his career, Brazilian born fighter Thiago 'Marreta' Santos will get the chance to headline a UFC event, as he now prepares to go head-to-head against Jimi Manuwa at the UFC Fight Night 137 event.
In case you didn't know...
Thiago 'Marreta' Santos was initially signed to a contract by the UFC after the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 and made his debut for the promotion at UFC 163 against the winner of TUF: Brazil, Cezar Ferreira.
Despite losing his first UFC fight via submission, Santos eventually cemented his place as one of UFC's most promising Middleweight fighters thanks to his memorable wins over the likes of Anthony Smith, Kevin Holland, and Nate Marquardt.
The heart of the matter
As confirmed by Thiago Santos himself, the 34-year-old Brazilian fighter has confirmed his promotion to the UFC Light Heavyweight Divison from the Middleweight Division, as 'The Sledgehammer' now prepares to replace the injured Glover Teixeira in the main event of Fight Night 137.
While speaking with MMA Junkie, Santos also went on to thank Manuwa for accepting the Brazilian's challenge, given the fact that the former UCMMA Light Heavyweight Champion could've easily declined the offer.
“I thought he wasn’t going to accept it, considering I’m not in the division. He’s a top-five (fighter), so it’s tricky to take on a guy who’s not even in the division. Not everyone would have taken it. I’d have understood it, for sure (if he turned it down).”
Additionally, Santos also claimed that he has been waiting for a really long time to headline a UFC show and now can finally check it off his short list of goals.
“I’ve been waiting for this for so long. It wasn’t in my division, but I’ve been wanting to try my hand at light heavyweight. So the two things came together, and I’m very happy with this opportunity.”
Thiago Santos is currently expected to face Jimi Manuwa on the 22nd of September, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 137 in the main event of the show.