Thiago Santos isn’t happy with the UFC’s latest fight offer.
Santos is the number two-ranked UFC light heavyweight. Back in July 2019, he fell just short of upsetting Jon Jones. In a competitive five-round affair, Jones narrowly held onto his 205-pound gold via split decision. Santos has been out of action since as he underwent surgery for tears in his left knee and ligament damage in his right knee.
Santos Turned Down Fight Offer Due To Ranking
Santos spoke to MMAFighting.com‘s Guilherme Cruz and revealed that he turned down a fight offer from the UFC.
“They want to give me fights I don’t want,” Santos said. “I never turn fights down, no matter who they are. But I’ve earned something, and I won’t accept anything less. I won’t take a step back. They want to give me something that represents a step back, and I won’t take a step back.”
“Marreta” went on to say that he couldn’t reveal the name of the opponent, but he did say the fighter isn’t even in the top 10 rankings.
“I can’t say his name because it could get me in trouble, but they offered someone who’s not in the top-10,” he said. “I don’t think it’s fair to fight someone outside the top five or six, or someone who’s on a rise. I was very upset when they offered someone who’s coming off a loss, you know? I refuse to take a step back. It’s not fair. If that’s how it goes, we’re gonna have problems getting our next fight.”
Santos had been on a roll since moving up to the light heavyweight division. He’s gone 4-1 in his last five outings with three of those victories coming in the 205-pound weight class.
In that span, Santos has beaten Jan Blachowicz, Jimi Manuwa, Eryk Anders, and Kevin Holland. Blachowicz may be next in line for a shot at Jones’ title after knocking out Corey Anderson in their rematch.
Santos has made it clear that he isn’t interested in a tuneup fight for his return, so it’ll be interesting to see who the UFC is able to match him up with ultimately.
Who do you think Thiago Santos should fight upon his UFC return?