A pair of top-ranked Brazilian light heavyweights look set to headline the UFC’s September 12 card.
ESPN was first to report Tuesday that Thiago Santos is expected to return on that date. In the main event, he’ll take on the surging Glover Teixeira. Both fighters are former title challengers who ran up against Jon Jones. And for Santos, it will be his first fight back from his title fight loss at UFC 239 a year ago.
Santos (21-7) had rattled off four straight wins, three in the 205lb weight class, prior to losing a split decision against Jones to cap off 2019’s International Fight Week. The fight was hotly contested and Jones’ closest since his first fight with Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 years prior.
Plenty saw the fight in favor of Santos, and called for an immediate rematch. But the Brazilian took heavy damage in the bout, tearing his LCL, PCL, MCL, and meniscus. He also suffered damage to his tibia, and a partial tear in his right ACL. Surgery and extensive rehab followed.
Over a year later, Santos will look to bounce back against Teixeira (31–7), who at age 40 has put together four straight wins. The most recent came in May, with a one-sided beatdown of Anthony Smith that sparked controversy — not over Teixeira’s actions, but over Smith’s corner not throwing in the towel in a fight that became hard to watch.
During his recent run, Teixiera has also picked up wins over Nikita Krylov and Ion Cutelaba.
The UFC’s September 12 event does not yet have an official title or numbering, nor location. Two other fights have been revealed for the card: Roxanne Modafferi vs. Andrea Lee, and Tyson Nam vs. Matt Schnell.