Thiago Santos may at the moment be on a losing skid, but his self-confidence hasn’t wavered.
Santos (21-8 MMA, 13-7 UFC) will look to get back into the acquire column when he usually takes on Aleksandar Rakic at UFC 259, which will take area Saturday, March 6 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Despite losing his previous two bouts, Santos has had times of brilliance in the octagon, such as finishes of current 205-pound champion Jan Blachowicz and former title challenger Anthony Smith.
His earlier two blemishes came in a narrow split selection decline to former UFC gentle heavyweight king Jon Jones and a submission reduction to prime contender Glover Teixeira. But, inspite of his recent setbacks, the 37-12 months-previous Brazilian insists he has a good deal of fight remaining in him and is ready to compete into his 40s in get to reach his final purpose.
“My aim is to come to be the UFC champion,” Santos explained to MMA Junkie. “I’m not in the UFC just to be in the UFC. I program to fight previous the age of 40. It all depends on how considerably my system can just take. As extensive as I can have fantastic performances, I’ll continue to keep doing work at it.”
At UFC 259 he’ll take on perilous prospect Rakic (13-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC), who has been close to-flawless in the octagon. A prolific finisher himself, Santos is aware he’s in for a barnburner and he welcomes the obstacle he knows the Austrian will convey on fight night time.
“Aleksandar is super rough,” Santos claimed. “He’s young. He’s scored a number of good wins in the UFC. He’s tall, potent, with a terrific reach. He hits difficult. He has really good kickboxing, and uses takedowns and wrestling when important. I believe it’s likely to be an brilliant fight.
“On struggle evening, I believe that I’ll be a much better version of myself, much better than the one particular who fought Glover. I’m heading to shock everybody. Devoid of a question, it’s likely to be a fantastic fight. Supporters need to not miss this a person. We’re both equally very aggressive. I’m ready to deliver house a different gain.”
Returning from much more than a yr absent because of to double knee surgical procedures, Santos admits he knowledgeable some ring rust in his decline to Teixeira at UFC on ESPN 17. But “Marreta” provides no excuses and is all set to transfer on.
“Against Glover, he did what he had to do,” Santos explained. “He was pretty strategic. We understood what he was going to do. I educated hard for that bout. I was prepared. My wrestling and jiu-jitsu have been on stage. By that time, I was completely recovered from COVID-19. What definitely weighed on me was the time absent from the octagon. The lack of struggle time produced the variation. Glover deserves comprehensive credit history. Now, I am completely targeted on what’s in advance, on successful my following struggle.”