UFC Vegas 17: After Dec. 5 Fight Cancelled, Taila Santos Returned to Brazil to Train

Taila Santos has had something of a rocky road getting to her fight with Gillian Robertson this weekend. Or, more accurately, the fight itself is a detour, with Santos originally being booked opposite Montana De La Rosa earlier this month.

Like so many other bouts of late, December 5’s Santos vs. De La Rosa fell through at the last minute. The culprit, a positive test for COVID-19 from one of De La Rosa’s cornermen.

In a twist of fate, perhaps, fellow flyweight Gillian Robertson would also see her own fight, against Andrea Lee at UFC 256, fall through. And so with two flyweights available and looking to fight, the UFC paired them up at UFC Vegas 17 this Saturday.

Santos (16-1) was “very disappointed about the fight [with Montana De La Rosa falling through],” she told Cageside Press via translator during a media day for UFC Vegas 17 on Thursday. After all, she had “trained hard, trained a lot for that moment.”

The Brazilian had already left Las Vegas and headed home, prior to learning that she had been rebooked against Gillian Robertson. “Because here,” Santos noted, she “didn’t have good conditions to train. Didn’t have sparring.” And so she went back to Brazil, only to return for the fight this week.

Canada’s Robertson holds a number of records in the UFC’s flyweight division: wins, finishes, submissions, fights, top time, and so on. While it’s a young division, that’s still quite the collection to have. So would a win over the Canadian be extra special?

Santos knows that “Gillian’s coming from a lot of victories. She has a great name in the UFC.” And with that in mind, a win over Robertson “will be very good” for her career.

Watch the full UFC Vegas 17 media day press scrum with Taila Santos above.