Thiago Santos has not fought since losing by split-decision to Jon Jones at UFC 239. Since then, he has been recovering from double knee surgery.
For Santos, he is starting to train again and is working at the UFC Performance Institute for his recovery. With that, he believes he will be able to return in mid-2020.
“My knee, it’s getting better,” Santos told MMA Junkie. “My recovery is going so good. I started training, and continuing my recovery at the [UFC PI] in Las Vegas, and I hope I will be back soon. Maybe June or before.”
What is even harder for Thiago Santos is the fact he was so close to winning the title and many thought and immediate rematch would make sense. Yet, with the injury, he is forced to watch on the sidelines.
“Yeah, it’s hard because I always fight in short time, very active, so never stopped for six months, and this time I probably stop for one year,” Santos said. “It’s hard, but, like I said, I am enjoying my time doing my recovery, and I am trying to have a little vacation, enjoying other things so now my mind is good.”
If Thiago Santos has his way, he would be fighting for the light heavyweight title in his first fight back. But, he is okay with the idea of him fighting a number one contender bout when he returns. All he cares about is returning to fighting and proving he is the best in the world.
“We will see what the UFC has for me,” Santos said. “If the UFC puts me in line for a title shot, for me it’s OK because I will fight again 100 percent. So, for me, it doesn’t matter, but if I need to do one fight before, it’s okay, too. I’m hungry for fight again. So I will be so happy to fight again, so it doesn’t matter if I’m in line for a title shot or one fight before.”