Thiago Santos has won his first ever fight at light heavyweight after moving up from 185 pounds to fill in for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 137 main event in Sao Paulo.
Santos (19-6) took out Eryk Anders, also a natural middleweight, following a flurry of elbows at the end of the third round, causing enough damage to force referee Marc Goddard to call off the fight in between rounds.
After a successful 205-pound debut, “Maretta” seems to have some interesting options in ahead of him. Santos cleared up his intentions during a post-fight interview, stating he still wants to fight Jimi Manuwa. Santos the was initially scheduled to fight Manuwa after the English slugger’s original opponent, Glover Teixeira, pulled out of the bout. Manuwa then withdrew from the event after injuring his hamstring during fight week in Brazil.
“I’m going to send him a message right now,” Santos said of Manuwa. “I hope he recovers really well, and as soon as possible. And I hope to meet with him in December so we can fulfill the contract we signed.”
Both Santos and Anders looked at home at 205 pounds on Saturday, as both are large middleweights. Santos said the cut to middleweight has become too dangerous for him, making light heavyweight his obvious choice for a new home.
“So what’s most important is my health, regardless of fighting a guy who’s Jon Jones’ size or Alexander Gustafsson,” Santos said. “But if I’m healthy, it’s going to be a war for them. They can expect that.”
Manuwa is coming off of a two-fight losing streak and stated earlier that this week that he will need a minimum six-week recovery period