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Thiago Santos cities pay dispute as reason for sudden UFC departure to PFL: “The purse is financially better for me”

Former UFC title challenger Thiago Santos has explained his sudden departure from the promotion.

‘Marreta’ has been out of action since his bout main event with Jamahal Hill in August. In that showdown, the Brazilian suffered a fourth-round TKO defeat. For his efforts in the ‘Fight of the Night’ outing, Santos received a $50,000 bonus.

The defeat was a fun fight, but it did drop the former title challenger to 1-5 in his last six contests. Despite still being a ranked fighter in the light-heavyweight division, Santos decided to exit the promotion, although he had one fight on his contract.

Thiago Santos eventually landed in the PFL, with a goal of winning $1 million dollars in their light-heavyweight tournament. The move shocked fans, as the Brazilian had been in the UFC for over a decade.

Now, the former UFC title challenger has explained his sudden departure from the promotion. Santos explained his situation in an interview on the Trocação Franca podcast. There, the 38-year-old explained the PFL signing just had to do with finances.

In the interview, the light-heavyweight stated that he is going to make more in the PFL than in the UFC. While Santos is grateful for the promotion where he spent a decade, he’s also excited to get the crack at securing a million-dollar payday.

Thiago Santos, UFC Vegas 13
Image via UFC.com

“It was also the right moment, at this stage of my career, to try something different,” Santos said. “I won’t be a hypocrite, of course that I want the $1 million [prize]. Of course I want money to make my nest egg. I don’t want to wait until it’s too late [in my career], like almost retiring, to fight one last fight and try a lot of money. No, I really want to fight. I know I still can do great things in MMA, I still have a few more years of fighting. The moment had to be now. New opportunities, better purse. Everything made me opt for the change.” (h/t MMAFighting)

 He continued, “The purse is financially better for me than [what I had in the] UFC… I still had one more fight [in my contract] but my manager Alex [Davis] was already in conversations with the PFL for a while. They had reached out asking how many fights I had left and when my contract would end, and they came with an offer. My manager asked me if he could advance the talks, I talked to my wife and we decided to continue [the discussion with PFL]. He spoke with the UFC and the UFC was very kind and correct with us, we dealt everything in a friendly manner and got the release.”

Next year, Thiago Santos will look to earn one million dollars in the PFL light-heavyweight tournament. Names such as Omari Akhmedov, Antonio Carlos Junior, and Rob Wilkinson are also expected to compete for the massive payday.

What do you think about Thiago Santos heading to the PFL? Sound off in the comment section below!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM