UFC Light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos, scheduled to face Jon Jones at UFC 239 on July 6, is sounding confident ahead of the biggest fight of his career.
Los Angeles, CA — Ahead of UFC 239, the key players throwing down at International Fight Week were out making the media rounds. That, of course, included light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos. The Brazilian has been on an impressive run since moving to 205lbs from middleweight — coincidentally the path the last title challenger, Anthony Smith, took.
Smith, of course, lost to champ Jon Jones at UFC 235. Santos (21–6), who is currently on a four-fight win streak with three straight finishes, will look to avoid a similar fate to Smith, a man he beat back in his middleweight days.
As to how he plans to do it, Santos told Cageside Press via translator on Monday that “July 6, we will see. I will do it. I will be champion.” Not giving away his game plan, then.
As he enters the biggest fight of his career, Santos will ride in on a wave of newfound popularity. His aggressive style has caught on with fans, who are behind him more than ever before. “I love this,” he said of the situation. “I love to fight. The fight is my life. I want to do my best July 6, and give another show for the people, the public.”
As for his aggressive style, it’s always been there. “I fight this kind [of fight]. Aggressive. I love it, to fight this kind [of fight].”
And while Jon Jones has a tendency to shut down opponent’s game plans and beat them at their own style, expect Santos to be his usual, hard-hitting self.
Asked if he’s been able to appreciate the scope of UFC 239, Santos said that there’s been “just a little stress.”
“But I understand,” he added. “This [is] part of the show. I like it just fight [without distractions].”
Santos is one of the few fighters remaining at 205lbs not already vanquished by champion Jones. Another is fellow Brazilian Johnny Walker. Asked about a match-up with the rising prospect, Thiago Santos said it’s a fight he would take. “It is a possibility. For me, no problem.”
“Thank you so much for all, I would like that you show me [support on] July 6. I will [try] to do my best, and I will be champion July 6,” he said in a final message to fans.