Having been on the sidelines due to knee surgery since his title fight against Jon Jones at UFC 239 this past summer, Thiago Santos has finally given a timeline for when he expects to return, and he’s still got some waiting ahead.
Speaking to MMA Junkie while in Washington, D.C. for the UFC’s latest fight card, Santos gave an update about where he’s at in recovery, when he expects to return, and what he plans for his return to the light heavyweight division.
When asked about his recovery schedule and when he plans to return, Santos said things have progressed well and a return this summer is his targeted plan.
“My recovery is going so good,” he said. “I started training and continuing my recovery in Las Vegas, and I hope I will be back soon. Maybe June or before.”
As Santos’ most recent opponent, the champion Jon Jones, prepares for a title fight against rising prospect Dominick Reyes, Santos divulged that he doesn’t expect to jump right back into a title fight. He’s just eager to get back into the cage.
“We will see what the UFC has for me,” he said. “If the UFC puts me in line for a title shot, for me it’s ok because I will fight again 100%. So for me, it doesn’t matter but if I need to do one fight before, it’s ok too. I’m hungry for fight again, so I will be so happy to fight again, so it doesn’t matter if I’m in line for a title shot or one fight before.”
While Santos works back from injury, Jones is already scheduled to face Reyes in February at UFC 247, and top contenders Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz are reportedly set to fight each other the following weekend in February in a possible title eliminator.
The top of the light heavyweight division could get interesting based on how the top two scheduled division fights go in February, and it’ll be interesting to see where Thiago Santos fits into the division picture upon his return.
Who would you like to see Thiago Santos face in his return to the Octagon?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/11/2019