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Report: Thiago Santos expected to face Jimi Manuwa in UFC Sao Paulo main event

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Despite early reports of Jimi Manuwa declining to fight Thiago Santos after Glover Teixeira was unable to fight Manuwa because of an injury, now it seems the fight will actually take place after all.

According to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, ‘Poster Boy’ has now accepted to meet the Brazilian at a light heavyweight bout, on September 22.

Furthermore, Santos and Manuwa already engaged in some trash talk over this week on Twitter, which would be a hint that the bout is, in fact, in the works.

Jimi Manuwa (17-4) comes into the fight in need of a win, after dropping a unanimous decision to Jan Blachowicz and being knocked out by Volkan Oezdemir in his last couple of bouts. His last win came in March 2017, when he knocked out Corey Anderson in the first round.

On the other hand, middleweight Thiago Santos (18-6) will try to make it two in a row after defeating Kevin Holland via unanimous decision back on August 4. The win was a bounce back after a KO loss to David Branch, in Apri. The Manuwa fight will mark Santos’ fourth Octagon appearance in 2018, and it’ll also be his light heavyweight debut.

Once this fight is finalized, it will serve as the main event of UFC Fight Night 137, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The entire main card airs live on Fox Sports 1.

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