Thiago Santos is no longer a UFC fighter.
Santos to PFL
The Professional Fighters League is making some big moves for the 2023 season. A few weeks ago, they snatched up former UFC featherweight fighter Shane Burgos, and now they got a former title challenger. On Thursday, ESPN was the first to report the news that former light heavyweight title challenger ‘Marreta’ Santos has decided to part ways with the UFC and sign with the PFL.
Santos’ manager Alex Davis spoke to ESPN.
“It was an amicable separation with the UFC,” Alex Davis said. “Thiago is very grateful for everything the UFC did for him, and he’s very grateful toward the PFL for signing with him. He’s looking forward to winning a million dollars.”
The 2023 PFL Light Heavyweight division just got more exciting! Welcome to the League @TMarretaMMA! pic.twitter.com/9SCzmWw2Aa
— PFL (@PFLMMA) September 8, 2022
While it has been a rough three years for Santos, the Brazilian had an enjoyable and accomplished nine-year run with the company. Santos signed with the UFC in 2013, and while he lost his debut against Cezar Ferreira, he would go on a win five of his next six, including an absolutely brutal head kick of Steve Bosse.
Thiago Santos knocked out Steve Bossé in 2015 via brutal head kick.
I think it’s my favorite Santos KO.#UFC259pic.twitter.com/yqnR45ScUV
— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) March 1, 2021
After 15 fights at middleweight, Santos would make a move to light heavyweight in 2018 and go on a run to the title. He would face Jon Jones in 2019 at UFC 239 and would give the champion everything and more; however, in the fight, he tore just about every ligament in his knee, which made the performance that much more impressive.
Unfortunately, Santos hasn’t had that much success since the Jones fight losing four of his last five fights.
The 38-year-old fighter leaves the UFC winning seven Performance of the Night/Fight of the Night bonuses and being the headliner seven times.