UFC 239: Thiago Santos Tore Three of Four Knee Ligaments Plus Meniscus in Split Decision Loss

Thiago Santos UFC 239 UFC Vegas 13
Thiago Santos Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

If you needed more reason to be impressed by Thiago Santos’ performance at UFC 239, he spent the good majority of five rounds on a torn apart knee.

Combate first reported the details of Thiago Santos’ suspected injury from UFC 239. They added that the recovery is expected to last over eight months, which shuts “Marreta” down until March 2020 at the earliest.

There are four ligaments in the knee: the ACL, MCL, PCL, and LCL. Thiago Santos tore all but the LCL, plus his meniscus in his left knee in the first round of a five-round bout against arguably the greatest fighter of all time. On top of that, there is a partial ligament tear in his right knee. The injury occurred after Jones checked a leg kick from Santos in the first, and Santos’ plant leg visibly buckled. Despite falling on his own several times during the fight, Santos did enough to win on one judge’s scorecard. It was the closest pound-for-pound great Jon Jones has ever been to truly losing a fight.

The severity of the injury does prompt hope for a rematch down the road, as it obviously played a factor in how the fight went. If Jones still wants to avoid moving up to heavyweight, Jan Blachowicz, Corey Anderson, and Dominick Reyes seem to be the top light heavyweights available at the moment. Keep in mind Anderson has defeated Blachowicz in the past.

Jones said he has his sights set on a December return, well within Santos’ injury timeline.

It will definitely be a while, though, until we see one of the UFC’s most entertaining fighters, Thiago Santos, return to the Octagon. Of the Brazilian’s 13 wins with the promotion, 11 have ended by KO/TKO.