Usually known for his devastating knockout power, Muay Thai specialist Thiago Santos has also made a name for himself as one of the most entertaining fighters in the light heavyweight division ever since he made the move up from middleweight back in September 2018.
Featured in some exciting bouts against Eryk Anders and Jimi Manuwa, ‘Marreta’ then solidified himself as the number one contender after knocking out Jan Blachowicz in February, in a not so wild performance. Now, paired up against Jon Jones for UFC 239’s main event, Santos tells Globo Esporte he plans to wait out for the perfect opportunity to strike.
“He is full of surprises, just like me,” Santos said. “So I don’t think there’s one specific thing I need to worry about. I need to be concerned in a more general manner, he is very well-rounded, a one-of-a-kind kind of guy. I’m going to feel it out, find the right moment to attack, avoid his attacks and find the right time to pounce. Like a sniper. I’m an explosive guy, I don’t like to waste any shots.”
A heavy underdog against ‘Bones,’ Santos doesn’t feel intimidated by the champion’s aura and instead plans on taking advantage of his status, using it in his favor to surprise the doubters and show his potential to the world.
“I know what my potential is, I know what I can do,” Santos said. “Regardless of the doubts. If I didn’t know me, I would bet on him, too, he’s the favorite, for sure. He’s a great fighter because of his history. He’s a very smart fighter. I have always respected my opponents, this won’t be different. I respect Jones very much, he’s an amazing fighter, but people don’t know about my potential. I thrive in adversities. People congratulate me for taking this fight with Jon Jones. Why wouldn’t I? I can make history and change my life with this fight.”
Thiago Santos is expected to take on champion Jon Jones for the light heavyweight belt at UFC 239’s main event, on July 6, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card will feature a second title fight in its co-main event, a female bantamweight bout between the champion, Amanda Nunes, and former titleholder Holly Holm.