The winner of Jon Jones and Anthony Smith may already have a challenger after UFC 235. Thiago Santos has thrown his name into the mix to be the next man up to challenge for the 205-pound title. Jones and Smith will main event UFC 235 on pay-per-view (PPV) next month (Sat. March 2, 2019) from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Smith earned the opportunity after his October submission win over Volkan Oezdemir.
Speaking to MMA Junkie recently, Santos said he believes Smith is the right man to challenge for the title next. With a potential win over Jan Blachowicz at UFC Prague this weekend (Sat. February 23, 2019), Santos hopes he’ll earn his title shot as well:
“I think it’s his turn. He earned it,” Santos said. “He just beat Volkan Oezdemir, who was third in the rankings, and took his spot. He’s next. I have no complaints. It’s fair.
“Once I beat Blachowicz, I’m sure I’ll also have my shot. Beating Blachowicz is all I think about now. Then we’ll see what’s next.”
Santos doubled down by saying, with a win over Blachowicz Saturday, he wants the Jones vs. Smith winner next:
“After beating Blachowicz,” Santos said, “I want to fight for the belt against the winner of Anthony Smith and Jon Jones.”
Do you think a win over Blachowicz will be enough for Santos to get a title shot?