Thiago Santos was the first fighter in a long time to take Jon Jones to his limit, or atleast a very uncomfortable situation where he narrowly walked out victorious. The Brazilian unfortunately busted his knees during the fight and had to get surgery on both, resulting in him being out for a long time.
The former title challenger spoke to MMA Junkie and finally revealed the timeline for his return and which fight he expects next:
“My knee, it’s getting better. My recovery is going so good. I started training, and continuing my recovery at the (UFC Performance Institute) in Las Vegas, and I hope I will be back soon. Maybe June or before.”
When Santos returns, the landscape of the Light Heavyweight division will be different. Dominick Reyes has stepped up as the next contender and will be fighting Jones for the title in February in what will be the second PPV of 2020. There's still Corey Anderson who should also be in line for a shot but will fight Jan Blachowicz in a #1 contender's fight.
The Brazilian understands the situation and stated that he would be ok having a #1 contender's fight next if he doesn't get an immediate title shot.
“We will see what the UFC has for me. If the UFC puts me in line for a title shot, for me it’s OK because I will fight again 100%. So, for me, it doesn’t matter, but if I need to do one fight before, it’s OK, too. I’m hungry for fight again, so I will be so happy to fight again, so it doesn’t matter if I’m in line for a title shot or one fight before.”
Fans will be excited to see Santos make a big return. Many felt that he beat Jones earlier this year, but admitted that the scorecards could have gone either way. It's going to be interesting to see how Santos performs when he's back. He's known to be one of the most lethal and exciting knockout artists in the world of MMA across all divisions.