Thiago Santos has finished his last three opponents by knock out, catapulting him into a fight with the light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones. He is ranked number three in the UFC light heavyweight rankings and he got there not only with the finishes but also with earning two “performance of the night” bonuses and one for “fight of the night.” Santos has been studying for Jones and has admitted he cannot find any weakness in his game.
However, that does not mean he thinks his match with Jones is going to be a lost effort. According to Santos the way to beat the man that is good everywhere is to make the fight uncomfortable everywhere. Santos told MMA Junkie that Jones is, “a very intelligent guy, so I need to be ready for everything.”
He said he and his team have been studying Jones and his ability to counter any offense his past opponents have attempted and thinks that if there were a weakness to expose, it would have been exposed already. “If there was a formula or a secret, someone would have figured it out already,” Santos said. Jones’ one loss was by his own doing when he was disqualified in his fight against Matt Hamill for using illegal downward elbows. Outside of that and his “no-contests”, Jones record would be spotless were it not for his own doing.
Santos thinks bringing his level of power, if he can get Jones on his back is the best way to beat Jones. “We have never seen him with his back against the ground,” said Santos. “Better yet, with his back to the ground and a hand landing heavily.” While that scenario is ideal if Jones avoids that the only solution for Santos is “to make him feel bad wherever he is.”
Santos and Jones are the main event for UFC 239 in July.