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Monday, 07/22/2013, 09:01 am

TUF: Brazil 2 Champ Leonardo Santos Plans Drop to Lightweight

By JAKE CHASTAIN

| Leonardo Santos, the latest winner of TUF: Brazil, has made plans to drop down to lightweight for his next UFC fight.

The Brazilian won TUF: Brazil 2 and the six-figure UFC contract at UFC on FUEL TV 10 in June. He claimed that crown with a second-round submission of William Macario, who was heavily favored to win the show. Santos won the show at welterweight but looks to be leaving that weight class for his next bout. Santos will make the drop from welterweight to lightweight for his next bout, according to news outlet SporTV Globo.

Santos is not the first winner of the TUF show to drop or change weights following a winning run on the reality series. Names such as Diego Sanchez, Rashad Evans, John Dodson, and most recently Kelvin Gastelum, have all dropped down in weight after winning The Ultimate Fighter and now Santos is following the trend.

It makes sense that many fighters enter TUF above their natural weight class due to the fact that they must go through multiple weight cuts in order to compete up to four times in a six to eight week span. That is crucial on the human body over a long period of time so, smartly, many fighters opt to fight above their regular weight class while on the show.

Santos is likely making the right decision for his career as he is not a huge welterweight, although he’ll be leaving the UFC’s welterweight roster to join arguably the most loaded weight class in the organization. The UFC lightweight division is staked with big names and with the addition of Santos it will be interesting to see if he is able to shake anything up. We’ll keep an eye on more news concerning Santos’ drop. 

Santos does not have an official fight scheduled and we’ll keep an eye on a potential match-up for him in the near future.

-Jake Chastain

@jchastain45

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