Thiago Santos Says He’ll Beat Either Jon Jones or Anthony Smith

By Mike Sloan Feb 23, 2019


Thiago Santos has been on the UFC’s roster for nearly six years, and now he feels it’s time for a title shot.

The Brazilian melted Jan Blachowicz in the main event of UFC Fight Night 145 on Saturday, his fourth consecutive win and eighth in nine fights overall. Santos flattened his foe via technical knockout 39 seconds into the third, which was also his third consecutive knockout win at 205 pounds.

To say Santos is on a torrid streak would be an understatement, and he attributes his latest string of success to his experience and a strong team behind him.

“I keep on improving and gaining new experience,” Santos said. “In the last fight [against Jimi Manuwa], I knew I could explode. This fight, I had to take it easier and use my experience. We studied the details and I have a great team with me. When you have a great team, this is the result you get.”

Since losing via first-round knockout to David Branch last April, “Marreta” has been all-destroying at middleweight and now, light heavyweight. The Tata Fight Team representative has his sights on UFC gold, though, and says he’ll be glued to the Octagon next week when Jon Jones defends his 205-pound title against Anthony Smith in Las Vegas at UFC 235.

Santos already owns a victory over Smith when the two were both competing at middleweight in February 2018.

  “The fans will decide who has to be the next title challenger,” Santos declared. “I’m going to Las Vegas to watch Anthony Smith against Jon Jones. If it’s Anthony Smith, I’ll beat him again. If it’s Jon Jones, I’ll beat him, too.”

Considering that “Bones” and rival Daniel Cormier likely won’t be fighting again in the near future and the log jam at the top of the division has been cleared by both men, a chance for Santos to fight for the title could come to fruition. He certainly made a strong case against Blachowicz on Saturday.

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