Thiago Santos has received praise from fans all over the world for being the first since Alexander Gustafsson to give Jon Jones a tough fight. Quite a few people scored the fight in Santos’ favour, with the hashtag “#Santos125” making rounds online. Fans have called for a rematch of the UFC 239 fight, something UFC president Dana White isn’t looking at.
Santos ran into trouble in the early minutes of the second round, when he appeared to have hurt his leg after landing a leg kick. As we now know, this was a knee injury. However, Santos persevered and went to continue landing on Jones, but not to his full extent. Santos spoke about the knee is his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, saying that he did injure it but he will not use it as an excuse for the loss.
‘Tata’ Duarte, Santos’ coach, spoke to MMAFighting.com about the injury to his knee. Duarte revealed that Santos had surgery just after accepting the world title fight. Read the quotes from Duarte below:
“The camp had a 45-day delay and Thiago only had 2 months to prepare, but still didn’t want to pull out. The doctor gave us a timeline but we had a problem later. Heather [Linden], physical therapist of the UFC, was the one who recovered his knee. She was at UFC 237 in Rio and kept working on his knee for six days straight and found out what the problem was and was able to fix it. That’s when he started his camp.”
Duarte continued, “We told him, ‘Thiago, let’s pull out of the fight,’ and he said, ‘No, I won’t pull out.’ He didn’t want to. We did this camp in two months. It should have been at least three months, but we didn’t have that time. If that knee hadn’t stopped him, Jon Jones would have gone down, no doubt. Our game plan was all set, ‘Marreta’ was seeing everything. And after he started hurting Jon Jones’ legs he began to lose mobility, it was too easy to put him out, man, but we counted on switching stances to get it done,” said Duarte. “He started the combinations but couldn’t continue.”
Would you like to see Santos rematch Jones with a healthy knee? Make sure to tell us in the comments and on our Twitter page, @ThePlanetMMA!