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‘No excuses’ - Thiago Santos releases statement after UFC main event loss to Magomed Ankalaev

Santos will have to go back to the drawing board after losing a unanimous decision to Ankalaev. 

Thiago Santos has reflected on his loss to Magomed Ankalaev at UFC Vegas 50 and offered no excuses for his performance this past Saturday.

Santos dropped a unanimous decision to Ankalaev in a relatively tame outing between the light heavyweight finishers. With the exception of a knockdown near the end of the second round, the Brazilian could not capitalize on the potential fight-ending punch and appeared just too hesitant to engage with the equally reserved opponent in front of him.

At the end of the 25-minute fight, Ankalaev was awarded the win on the judges’ scorecards and moved to 8-1 under the UFC banner. The 29-year-old believed a win over a former one-time title challenger in Santos would be enough to warrant a shot at the champion for his next appearance.

Santos has now dropped to 1-4 in his past five fights, but those losses have come against former and current champions as well as ranked contenders in Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakić. Though the loss to Ankalaev could severely impact his standing in the division, ‘Marreta’ was still grateful for the opportunity.

“No words about yesterday, no excuses, another hard and painful defeat,” wrote Santos in a brief statement on Twitter. “Still, my faith in God remains unshakeable and my gratitude to him, my family, my friends, coaches and true fans only increases. Thank you for everything.”

The 38-year-old has been unable to get another win streak going since his four-fight stretch that began in 2018. Santos won a unanimous decision over Kevin Holland at middleweight before moving up to light heavyweight and rattling off three straight finishes of Eryk Anders, Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz.

Santos challenged then-champion Jones, losing a split decision to ‘Bones’ while powering through injures in both knees at UFC 239 over two years ago.