Thiago Santos wants Jon Jones when he returns, no tune-up fight necessary

Thiago Santos
Image: UFC on Instagram

Top-ranked light heavyweight contender Thiago Santos says that he wants a rematch with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones when he returns to the Octagon in 2020. He says a tune-up fight is not necessary.

Santos spoke to Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com and said that he desires a rematch with Jones, who edged out a controversial split decision victory at UFC 239 this past July to defend his belt. Many felt that Santos should have got the nod, and he badly wants the rematch to prove he’s the super fighter.

“If it was only up to me, being 100 percent, I don’t need a tune-up fight,” Santos said. “I don’t need any of that. If I can train 100 percent, I’m sure I will get there ready to fight anyone.”

Santos says his recovery from double knee surgery is going well. He can’t do anything with his legs yet, but he’s been working on his hands in the meantime.

“The only thing I can’t do is kick, but I can box, I can work on my hands and do conditioning training as well,” Santos. “I can even ride a bike. I’m not able to run yet. That’s it. I can do a bunch of things, actually. I can do many things. I just can’t run. But I can do a squat, work the upper part of my body, ride a bicycle. There are a few restrictions regarding weightlifting. I can’t lift much weight with my legs, but I can do many things already.”

Although the knee injuries Santos suffered during the Jones fight were devastating, the Brazilian has been working extremely hard during his rehab for his return to the UFC. Considering how close the first fight with Jones was, even with the injuries you can’t write off Santos as a legitimate threat to Jones if he’s still holding the belt next year. A rematch at some point in the future seems very likely to happen.

Do you think Thiago Santos should get a rematch with Jon Jones when he returns to the Octagon next year?