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Leo Santos will not ‘shy away’ from striking battle vs. ‘brawler’ Jared Gordon at UFC 278

Lightweight Leonardo Santos is set to face Jared Gordon on August 20.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Leonardo Santos will look to avoid suffering this third straight loss next Saturday. Paired up against Jared Gordon, the 42-year-old hopes to snap a the skid and begin a new chapter in his career.

In a conversation with Combate, Santos explained how he felt about losing two fights in a row after not being bested for over a decade. Although Leonard admits to feeling the impact of the losses, he is confident that after a few adjustments at Nova Uniao, he is ready to have his hand raised once again.

“It’s been hard, but I’ve been competing since I was eight years old,” Santos said. “Wins and losses are part of my life, of course victories were much more present. It was hard, I hadn’t lost in 11 years and then I lost two in a row. I learned a lot. It’s more experience for me. We had to make some adjustments. We always dedicate ourselves and train hard, but I’ve given up lots of things for my career, so it wasn’t a huge change. Just a talk and a few adjustments.”

In the fight against Gordon, Santos predicts his opponent will try to keep the fight on the feet, since he is the better grappler of the two. However, the Brazilian does not worry too much about that possibility, claiming to be ready to fight wherever the match might take place.

“He’s a brawler. He walks forward all the time. He’s also coming off a loss, so it’s going to be a good fight. I believe we’re going to put on a great show for the fans. There’s no such thing as grappler vs. striker these days. He can grapple, too. I believe he’ll try to keep it on the feet and if I get the chance, I’ll take him down, but I will not shy away from fighting on the feet, too.”

In his past two outings, Santos (18-5-1) suffered losses to Clay Guida and Grant Dawson, getting submitted by the former and knocked out by the latter. The 42-year-old’s last win happened in July 2020, when he picked up a unanimous decision victory over Roman Bogatov.

Now, Santos is expected to face Gordon at UFC 278, on August 20, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a rematch for the welterweight title between the champion, Kamaru Usman, and challenger Leon Edwards. In their first encounter, back in December 2015, the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ defeated ‘Rocky’ via unanimous decision.