Thiago Santos had the biggest fight of his MMA carer this past Saturday against Jon Jones in the main event of UFC 239. Thought he officially lost a split decision, he gained the respect of the entire MMA community for not only giving Jones a tough fight, but for fighting 25 minutes with two severely-damaged knees.
Although Santos will be out until mid-2020 after having knee surgery, he told Combate that he isn’t giving up hope of eventually fighting Jones for a second time.
“Surely a rematch with him is a dream,” Santos said. “I want to recover from my knee and I sure want to fight him 100 percent, to see how it will be with me being 100 percent, playing my game, doing what we trained. There’s definitely going to be another fight.”
In the wide-ranging interview, Santos said he felt his knee was injured early in the first round, but he managed to gut it out and go the full five rounds with the best fighter on the planet in Jones. It’s an impressive feat even if he didn’t get his hand raised.
Santos says that while he didn’t win the fight, he is happy to show other fighters and the fans watching what it means to have a big heart and to leave it all out in the Octagon win, lose, or draw.
“I do not know if I shocked the world, but I think I could leave a message, which is what I like to leave, to pass on, I think the most important thing is the legacy we leave,” Santos said. “I think in this fight I left a lot of people happy, I spent a lot of this fight overcoming the difficulties. I think I was having a hard time at the beginning of the fight and a lot of people would have stopped there, so at least a good message, overcoming, resisting, you keep trying, not giving up, I think that message I was able to pass to people.”
For now, Santos will recover from his injuries sustained in the fight. But you know he wants to get his hands on Jones again one day. After all, it’s his dream.
“We want a rematch, yes, but let’s see what the UFC plans will be,” Santos said. “There’s a lot of time left, let’s wait for the scenes from the next chapters.”
Should Thiago Santos get a rematch with Jon Jones when he returns to the Octagon?