Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos has another main event on his hands next Saturday, but does not intend for it to go the distance. Paired up against the rising Jamahal Hill, ‘Marreta’ intends to finish his opponent in the first two rounds, but is ready to fight for 25 minutes if he must.
In an interview with Super Lutas, Thiago claimed to be in the best shape of his life ever since his title fight against Jon Jones. Although Santos acknowledges how dangerous Hill can be, especially on the feet, the Brazilian still believes he is the more experienced and skilled fighter.
“I’m totally prepared,” Santos said. “This is the home stretch. I’ve had an excellent camp. The best one since my fight with Jones. I feel ready for this fight. Sure, a fight is a fight and I can’t make any mistakes. He has heavy hands and long reach. I can’t blink. In our division, one shot can change everything. Technically, though, I see myself as the better fighter. More experienced than him, too.
“He’s going to come at me, he’s going to try to pressure me from the start.” Thiago said. ”He’ll end up leaving some openings upon which I will capitalize. If I don’t finish the fight within two rounds, he’ll suffer for five rounds. That much I can say.”
In his last outing, Santos (22-10) dropped a unanimous decision to Magomed Ankalaev, back in March. Before that, the 38-year-old scored a unanimous decision win over Johnny Walker, marking that his only victory in his past five bouts. The win over Walker snapped a tree-fight skid for the Brazilian, who had previously lost to Aleskandar Rakic, Glover Teixeira and Jon Jones.
Now, Santos is expected to face Hill at UFC Vegas 59’s main event, on August 6. The card is scheduled to take place at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas, Nevada.