Former UFC title challenger Taila Santos signs with the PFL

By Josh Evanoff - March 1, 2024

Former UFC women’s flyweight title challenger Taila Santos is now with the PFL.

Taila Santos

The Brazilian fighter had a bit of a strange UFC run. Taila Santos, much like most fighters in the organization today, came in through the Dana White Contender Series in late 2018. While she debuted with a loss against Mara Romero Borella, the women’s flyweight contender quickly found success.

After her debut loss, Taila Santos rattled off a four-fight winning streak over names such as Molly McCann and Joanne Wood. That win streak was enough to earn a UFC title shot against then-champion Valentina Shevchenko in June 2022. Despite a lot of early success against ‘Bullet’, Santos came up short in her bid for gold.

In the co-main event of UFC 275, Shevchenko defeated Taila Santos by split decision. While a loss, it was a competitive fight, that gave fans hope that the Brazilian would be back. Unfortunately, Santos wouldn’t be with the company for long afterward. Last August, she faced the rising Erin Blanchfield in Singapore, losing by unanimous decision.

Following the loss to ‘Cold Blooded’, Talia Santos was cut from the UFC. The Brazilian’s release seemingly came out of nowhere, given that she was one of the top names at 125 pounds. Now just a few months removed from her release, Santos has a new home as a member of the PFL. As of now, her debut is expected for May.


Valentina Shevchenko, Taila Santos

Former UFC title challenger Taila Santos signs with the PFL in free agency

The news of Taila Santos’ PFL signing was first reported by OCP News and later confirmed by the Brazilian on social media. In a comment given to the news outlet that first broke the story, the former UFC title challenger stated that she was grateful for the opportunity.

“Expectations are [very high]. We can never expect less or what we have to receive. I received this contract and I am very grateful for the event for giving me this opportunity. I’m very happy and we’re going forward with total focus.”

Taila Santos is expected to compete in the PFL 2024 women’s flyweight season, in a bid for $1 million. As of now, the full roster of fighters for the tournament hasn’t been announced. However, names such as former Bellator flyweight champion Liz Carmouche, and Dakota Ditcheva, are expected to be in the season.

What do you make of this new PFL signing? Are you excited for Taila Santos’ return to the cage later this year?

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Professional Fighters League (PFL) Taila Santos