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Thiago Santos doesn't watch tape on opponents: 'I'll stuff the takedowns and hurt him'

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Middleweight Thiago Santos wants to put the hurt on Gerald Meerschaert at UFC 213.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Lewis vs Browne
Thiago Santos
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Ready to follow up on his highlight-reel spinning heel kick knockout win over Jack Marshman in February, middleweight Thiago Santos wants to make it two in a row when he meets Gerald Meerschaert at UFC 213.

In order to get the win, however, Santos revealed to Combate a rather unusual strategy, as he's not too keen on watching tape to learn more about his opponents.

"I know he seems to be a grappler, he likes to work on the ground, he has two UFC wins and is a southpaw. That's all I know about him. I don't really like to watch tape on my opponents, I leave that to my coaches. That's just the way I am, I don't spend all day watching my opponent's fights. My coaches will instruct me, just like they do when we train. I'll focus on me. I trained a lot of jiu-jitsu, boxing, wrestling and muay thai. I'm ready."

For Santos, the gameplan for the fight is crystal clear. It's all about stuffing takedowns and looking for that knockout shot.

"He fought the same day I did, in Canada. He finished it quickly, like in the first minute of the first round, but you could already see he was not that resistant. His opponent dropped him but came at him too carelessly, so he ended up in an armbar. I always treat my opponents as if they're muay thai champions, excellent boxers, All American wrestlers or jiu-jitsu world champions. To me, he's good at everything. I won't just focus on jiu-jitsu so I can end up knocked out. I don't know, it's MMA. Everyone knows I don't hide my gameplan. I'll stuff the takedowns and hurt him. I'll even tell him, if he wants. Stuffing the takedowns and hurting him. That's the gameplan. I'll look for the knockout."

Thiago Santos is expected to meet Gerald Meerschaert at UFC 213, on July 8, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card will be headlined by a female bantamweight title fight between champion Amanda Nunes and contender Valentina Shevchenko.