CURITIBA, Brazil — Luan Santiago was four seconds away from winning the Brave lightweight title in April, being ahead on the scorecards in the fifth and final round, but dislocated his elbow after a takedown and saw Lucas Martins capture the belt in Brazil.
“Miau” is almost ready to return to the cage four months later, but still has nightmares about those four seconds that stopped him from winning his first international title in mixed martial arts.
“I still do (have nightmares), man, but if I keep thinking about that I won’t move forward,” Santiago told MMA Fighting. “I’m back to square one now. I have to do everything all over again. No matter how exciting the fight was, if I put on a show, I’m back to square one.”
Santiago avoided surgery, but dislocating his elbow proved to be a worse injury and forcing him out of action for many months. The lightweight prospect is not 100 percent yet, but targets a December return to action against another UFC veteran.
“Alan Omer is a UFC veteran and he’s part of the promotion now, he just beat Gesias (Cavalcante),” Santiago said. “He’s tough, and it would be good to come back challenging him.
“And I will knock him out. I’m going back to my roots and knocking people out as quick as possible. I’ve always fought that way and got the job done, and this is what I’m doing now.”
Against Omer or whoever else he gets in front of him, “Miau”, 12-3 in MMA with 10 knockout finishes, vows not to make the same mistakes he did against Martins.
“I stopped listening to my corners,” Santiago admits. “The first kicks he threw I thought it was cool, no big deal, but then it started to bother me and I lost focus, wasn’t listening to my corners anymore. I thought about stalling in the end and then that happened. If I had finished him in the first round, none of that would have happened.
“No matter how you lose, a loss is a loss and that’s on your record. I lost, and now I have to come back and start all over again.”