A 15-fight UFC veteran at middleweight, striker Thiago Santos prepares for his first ever bout at light heavyweight as he gets ready to take on Jimi Manuwa on September 22, in Sao Paulo. While he considers the pros and cons of moving up 20lbs, ‘Marreta’ tells Tatame it would be easier to end up scoring a title shot at the heavier weight class.
The way Santos sees it, middleweights is just too jammed and complicated right now.
“I think light heavyweight is easier in that aspect (of getting to a title shot),” Santos said. “Middleweight is just too competitive and convoluted, you can’t really understand it. Light heavyweight is a different thing. You got Daniel Cormier now, you’re waiting for Jon Jones to recover from all the sh-t he has done and get the belt back. That’s it. Not at middleweight. If you look at the Top 5, anybody could be a champion.
“There are too many favored fighters at middleweight,” he continued. “Guys that the UFC want to make it to the top faster. That happens in every weight class, but it happens more at middleweight. There are guys like Chris Weidman, Israel Adesanya, Paulo Borrachinha. The UFC puts them on the fast track, that’s not news to anybody. It’ not that they aren’t talented. They are, they win fights, but they do get a shorter path in the division.”
Thiago Santos is expected to take on Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 137 in Brazil, with the main card airing live on FS1. A short notice replacement, Santos stepped in for Glover Teixeira, who was forced out of the bout with a shoulder injury. Santos is coming off a unanimous decision win vs. Kevin Holland at UFC 227.