EXCLUSIVE | Leonardo Santos expects to make his octagon return before the end of 2018

UFC lightweight standout Leonardo Santos (16-3-1 MMA) was expected to make his highly anticipated return to the octagon at June’s UFC Fight Night 131 event.

Unfortunately for fights fans, the Brazilian submission specialist suffered an injury and was forced off of the June 1 fight card.

The Nova Uniao product, Leonardo Santos, has gone an undefeated 5-0-1 since joining the UFC ranks in June of 2013.

“Lamparao” was last seen in action at UFC 204 in October of 2016 where he scored a split-decision victory over Adriano Martins.

Prior to that, Santos had defeated perennial division contender Kevin Lee via TKO at UFC 194.

BJPENN.com’s Chris Taylor caught up with Leonardo Santos at the Nova Uniao World Training Camp in Toronto where he discussed his recent injuries and when fans can expect to see him back inside the octagon.

“It was originally just my wrist that was injured. That was the injury that forced me out of the fight with Nik Lentz last month. Then shortly after that I ended up hurting my lower back. The back injury is still lingering so I am letting it rest. As you can see I am still doing light training, but nothing like a UFC training camp.”

As for when fans can expect to see the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace back in the octagon, Leonardo is planning to fight before the conclusion of 2018.

“You know I think in another month from now I could start up a training camp. I don’t want to rush it but I also need to fight. It has been so long since my last contest. I want to return to the UFC and put on an amazing performance for the fans. I can’t wait to do it. I need to fight before the end of this year. For myself and for the fans. I just want to put on a great show.”

Who would you like to see Leonardo Santos fight in his next octagon appearance? Sound off PENN Nation!