Light heavyweight contender Thiago Santos has some mean intentions ahead of his headliner bout against Jan Blachowicz at UFC Prague.
In a recent interview with Combate, when asked about what he expected from the fight, ‘Marreta’ said he was aware of the possibility that his opponent might want to take him down, but in return, Jan should also anticipate a gruelling stand-up match.
“(I need to pay more attention) to the ground fighting, because that’s what he’ll try to do,” Santos said. “He’ll exchange strikers, but he’ll try to take me down at some point, that’s where he theoretically thinks he would have an edge over me. I like to punish my opponents, I have no hurry to knock them out. If I do, fine, if not, they’ll get beat up until the end of the fight. He must be ready to feel pain. I like to make them pay until they quit, the KO comes or the referee intervenes.”
Undefeated ever since moving up to the light heavyweight division in 2018, “Marreta” scored knockout wins over Eryk Anders and Jimi Manuwa and will headlined his second card ever since the switch. Should he win again, the 35-year-old believes he would be closer than ever to a title shot.
“I’m really happy for the opportunity,” Santos said. “I’m getting recognized for my work. We work so hard and now we reap what we sow. It’s my second main event, my first fight in Europe, I want to enjoy every second of it. I believe all of my fights are important, you can’t deny how important this one is, it could put me very close to a title shot. But I try not to think about that, I don’t want that getting to me, I think it’s a fight as important as any other. I want to step in there, do my job and win.”
Thiago Santos is expected to take on Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night 145, in Prague, Czech Republic, on February 23. The entire card will stream live on ESPN+.