A light heavyweight bout between Thiago Santos and Eryk Anders served as the headliner of tonight’s UFC Fight Night 137 event in Sao Paulo.
Thiago Santos was initially scheduled to meet Jimi Manuwa at the event, replacing former title challenger Glover Teixeira who was forced to pullout with an injury. However, Manuwa would also suffer an injury and thus had to be replaced by perennial middleweight contender Eryk Anders.
Thiago Santos enters tonight’s contest having won five of his past six contests. Four of those five victories came by way of Knockout/TKO, with Santos earning stoppage victories over Jack Marshman, Gerald Meerschaert, Jack Hermansson and Anthony Smith.
Meanwhile, Eryk Anders comes in to this evening’s headliner sporting a record of 11-1. Anders was most recently seen in action at August’s UFC event in Lincoln where he scored a sensational head kick knockout victory over Tim Williams.
Round one begins and Eryk Anders quickly takes the center of the octagon and fires off a left hand. Santos attempts a kick but Anders catches it and trips him to the ground. Thiago pops right back to his feet but Anders has him pressed up against the fence. Eryk Anders looks to pick Santos up and slam him but Thiago is not having it. Anders switches to throwing some knees to the thigh of his Brazilian opponent. Santos returns fire with a knee to the body of the former college football star. Thiago Santos breaks free and lands a big kick to the body. He attempts to go upstairs with a kick and just narrowly misses. Anders attempts to press forward but Thiago catches him with a left hand. That forces Eryk back and Santos recognizes the opening and comes in with a nice kick to the body. Anders looks for the clinch. He pushes Santos up against the cage and begins working for a double leg takedown. He is able to finally drag Santos to the floor but he can’t keep him there. Thiago breaks free and then loads up with a right hand. He misses but connects with a follow up kick to the body. Anders misses with a wild head kick attempt. Santos is looking to counter with his right hand. He side steps and lands a low kick. Anders misses with a high kick. Round one comes to an end.
Round two begins and Eryk Anders moves forward quickly. Thiago Santos catches him with a high kick and then comes at Eryk with a flurry of punches. Anders ducks under and pushes the fight up against the cage. He attempts to take the fight to the ground but Santos scores a switch and ends up taking top control. The is definitely not where Eryk Anders wants to be. Thiago Santos is head hunting now. He throws down a big right hand. Anders immediately attempts to scramble free. He does and gets back to his feet. Thiago Santos meets him with a left hand. Eryk Anders fires back with a flurry. Both men with big shots. Anders presses forward. Santos lands a low kick. Anders fires off a body shot. Both men are winging big shots here. It feels like any strike could end this fight. Thiago Santos with a nice body kick. Ander remains unfazed and marches forward. Just over one minute remains in round two. Anders misses with a head kick. Santos could see that coming from a mile away. Thiago with a nice kick to the body now. He just misses with a back-elbow. Santos with a left hand and then right. Anders staggers backward. Thiago chases after him with punches. Anders is able to survive and escape by circling off the fence. He leaps in with a left hand and then shoots in and scores a late takedown. He lands a knee to the chest of Santos. The horn sounds to end round two.
— UFC (@ufc) September 23, 2018
Round three begins and Thiago Santos lands a low kick to get things started. Eryk Anders lands a big left hand over the top. He shoots in and scores a takedown. Some immediate big shots from Anders. He transitions to the back of Santos and secures both hooks. He begins unloading some short shots and elbows while searching for the rear-naked choke. Anders looks to move to mount but Santos scrambles and gets back to his feet. Thiago charges forward with punches. He lands a nice combination. Anders looks to be in trouble. He ducks under a Santos punch and pushes the Brazilian back up against the cage. Anders secures another takedown and begins working some shots. Thiago Santos scrambles back to his feet but it only lasts a few seconds as Eryk Anders drags him right back to the floor. Short elbows from Thiago Santos. Those appear to be hurting Anders. He is in all sorts of trouble. The horn sounds to end round four but Eryk Anders can’t get back to his feet. He finally does and falls over. This one is called off by the referee as it should be.
— UFC (@ufc) September 23, 2018
Thiago Santos def. Eryk Anders via TKO