Thiago Santos wants a big fight upon his return to the Octagon.
Santos hasn’t been in action since July 2019. He gave UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones all he could handle and even came close to pulling off the upset. In the end, “Bones” successfully retained his gold via split decision. Santos has been sidelined since after undergoing surgery but he’s close to making his return.
Thiago Santos Eyes UFC Title Shot Or Top-Five Opponent
Santos is eager to get back to action. With that said, he told MMAJunkie that he hopes to either fight for the light heavyweight gold or receive a top-five ranked opponent.
“If these things happen about Jon, if he really don’t want to fight, the light heavyweight division needs to go forward,” Santos told MMA Junkie on Tuesday. “It needs to continue. It can’t stay stopped. I would like to go in line for the belt against Jones or against Dominick Reyes. We never know what UFC is going to do. I’m doing what I need to do. I keep training. I’m preparing for when the UFC tells me. I’m going to be 100 percent ready. I would like to fight for the belt or someone in the top five.”
Things are a bit murky with the light heavyweight title picture. That’s because champion Jon Jones is at odds with the UFC over pay. He has threatened to vacate his 205-pound gold and stay home until a better deal is presented. UFC president Dana White expressed his belief that the situation will eventually get worked out.
Santos says he is 100 percent healthy. All he’s waiting for is the UFC to offer him an opponent. “Marreta” has gone 4-1 in his last five outings. Santos sits at the number two position on the official UFC light heavyweight rankings.