Santos Eyes Title Shot After UFC Prague
The UFC light heavyweight division is the focus of the UFC’s return to ESPN+ on Saturday, as Jan Blachowicz and Thiago Santos headline UFC’s Fight Night in Prague, Czech Republic.
With both men nearing title contention, Santos told Combate that he’s looking to force Blachowicz to stand and trade as they face off at the O2 Arena.
“(I need to pay more attention) to the ground fighting, because that’s what he’ll try to do,” Santos said. “He’ll exchange strikers, but he’ll try to take me down at some point, that’s where he theoretically thinks he would have an edge over me. I like to punish my opponents, I have no hurry to knock them out. If I do, fine, if not, they’ll get beat up until the end of the fight. He must be ready to feel pain. I like to make them pay until they quit, the KO comes or the referee intervenes.”
Since making the transition to light heavyweight in 2018, Santos has dropped Eryk Anders and Jimi Manuwa, and is set to headline his second card on Saturday night. The 35-year old Brazilian feels that a win on Saturday night can point him towards light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
“I’m really happy for the opportunity,” Santos said.
“I’m getting recognized for my work. We work so hard and now we reap what we sow. It’s my second main event, my first fight in Europe, I want to enjoy every second of it. I believe all of my fights are important, you can’t deny how important this one is, it could put me very close to a title shot. But I try not to think about that, I don’t want that getting to me, I think it’s a fight as important as any other. I want to step in there, do my job and win.”
Thiago Santos and Jan Blachowicz headline UFC Fight Night 145, in Prague, Czech Republic, on February 23. The entire card will stream live on ESPN+.
UFC Fight Night 145 Main Card:
Jan Blachowicz vs. Thiago Santos
Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Stefan Struve
Michal Oleksiejczuk vs. Gian Villante
Liz Carmouche vs. Lucie Pudilova
John Dodson vs. Petr Yan
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Klidson Abreu
UFC Fight Night 145 Prelims:
Dwight Grant vs. Carlo Pedersoli Jr.
Chris Fishgold vs. Daniel Teymur
Veronica Macedo vs. Gillian Robertson
Damir Hadzovic vs. Marco Polo Reyes
Ismail Naurdiev vs. Michel Prazeres
Diego Ferreira vs. Rustam Khabilov
Joel Alvarez vs. Damir Ismagulov