Santos’ ex-wife, Cris “Cyborg” Justino immediately set up a gofundme fundraiser to help with medical bills needed for the insane injury suffered in the MMA fight. However, Bellator MMA warmed people’s hearts when they stepped up and took the responsibility of Santos’ expensive medical bills and additionally awarded the injured fighter his win bonus, even after losing to Page in their bout.
Santos’ gofundme campaign has surpassed its goal of $20,000 and as of this writing is near $25,000, raised from over 900 individuals.
With Bellator already covering Santos’ medical bills, the Brazilian said he plans on using the funds to give back to his Brazilian community.
“When I was 11 years old, I started shining shoes to help support my family,” Santos said to MMA Junkie. “I had six siblings. My father worked the land, and my mother was housekeeper. I would come home from school at 11 a.m. and stayed out in the streets until 10 p.m.
“This time of my life had a tremendous impact on me, as I started attending an institute called Casa do Menor Trabalhador de Rua – the home for child street workers in Rondonopolis, Brazil. It was supported by business owners and nuns. They had a library, a foosball table, soccer balls and hourly prayers.”
Santos says that he has always wanted to give back to the program that helped him become the person he is today.
“Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to repay, from my heart, the sense of security and direction I received at this project,” he said. “Today I’m the fruit of their labors. So I wish to use the money that has been raised to launch a great dream of mine, to offer martial arts, literature and English classes. That way, we can prepare new champions for the fight that is life, and encourage them to use their full potential – intellectual, physical and technical.”
Santos said that he didn’t think that it was fair if he used the donation money for his own benefit after Bellator announced they will be taking care of him and sent a heartfelt message to everyone who supported him by donating to his campaign.
“May God bless each and every person for their positive thoughts, prayers and contributions. May the blessings also reach your families. And may God also bless Cris, who was so shocked by those images. Thank you for your friendship and concern.”