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Thiago Santos Still Hopes to Run it Back With Jon Jones, Without Tune-up Fight

After giving Jon Jones, what some people believe, was his biggest test to date this past July, Thiago Santos [1] is still driving for an immediate rematch with the light-heavyweight champ.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Jones narrowly gets by Santos

Santos was tapped to fight the champion at UFC 239, after “Marreta” put together a four fight, winning streak,which included wins over contenders like Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz. Santos surprised many by going five rounds with Jones, and by pushing the all-star fighter. In fact, one judge awarded the fight to the challenger. The outing was particularly impressive, as Santos  battled Jones for five rounds, despite sustaining injuries to both of his knees during the contest. [2]

Santos provides an update

Recently the 35-year-old Brazilian fighter spoke with MMA Fighting [3], and he provided this update on his recovery:

“Man, the only thing I can’t do is kick, but I can box, I can work on my hands and do conditioning training as well,” Santos said. “I can even ride a bike. I’m not able to run yet. That’s it. I can do a bunch of things, actually.”

“I can do many things,” he added. “I just can’t run. But I can do a squat, work the upper part of my body, ride a bicycle. There are a few restrictions regarding weightlifting. I can’t lift much weight with my legs, but I can do many things already.”

Santos is reportedly hoping to fight in the second quarter of 2020. So, who he is hoping to fight? Santos has said before that he wants to run it back with Jones, and while discussing whether he needs a tune-up fight first, “Marreta” said this:

“If it was only up to me, being 100 percent, I don’t need a tune-up fight,” Santos said. “I don’t need any of that. If I can train 100 percent, I’m sure I will get there ready to fight anyone.”

You have to admire Santos for his ambition and desire to face Jones again. But, the chances of the UFC giving him an immediate rematch are likely, very small. Jones has argued the fight was only close because he didn’t mix in his wrestling, and after the bout Dana White opined there was no doubt Jones had won.

So, Santos will likely need to record another win, if not two, before another title shot is a real possibility. But, you never know. If Jones is booked for a fight and the opponent drops out, maybe the UFC would give Santos a call.