Thiago Santos says he finally feels like himself again ahead of his UFC Vegas 50 main event against Magomed Ankalaev.
Santos returned to the win column last October with a decision win over Johnny Walker which snapped his three-fight losing skid. On the losing streak, he dropped a decision to Aleksandar Rakic, a submission loss to Glover Teixeira, and a split-decision loss to Jon Jones for the belt in a fight he tore both his knees in.
Since the Jones fight and tearing both his knees, Santos has admitted his knee hasn’t felt the same but that changed this camp.
“It’s going good. It’s a long process. I came back, I fought, I didn’t win, but I feel like my progress—I feel better every single fight. I’m pretty sure this next fight, I will be so much better than my last fight,” Santos said to MMAJunkie.
According to Santos, he says he doesn’t think he returned when he was 100% and that showed in his performances. He says the mental toll also played a role in his performances
“I was able to fight, you know, but I can’t say I was 100%. Like I said, it’s a long process. Not only physical, but mental. I cannot say I was 100%. I was able to fight, but I did not feel 100%,” Santos explained. “Now, I can say I feel 100%. I feel mentally good (and) physically good. Even in my camp, I didn’t have any problems. I did everything, all our training stuff—wrestling, jiu-jitsu; I could train everything, so I feel 100%.”
Thiago Santos is currently ranked fifth at light heavyweight while Magomed Ankalaev is ranked sixth. Both men believe if they get a big win here they could get a title shot. It’s certainly not out of the question, as even in Santos’ fight against Teixeira, he dropped him a couple of times and nearly finished him.
Do you think Thiago Santos will defeat Magomed Ankalaev at UFC Vegas 50?