After coming in heavy at UFC Norfolk last February, then competing at a planned catchweight of 150lbs last July, Grant Dawson is pulling the trigger on a move to lightweight. And he has an impressive foe for his debut in the weight class, as Dawson has been paired up with Brazil’s Leonardo Santos.
News of the booking was first reported by MMA Junkie. Dawson had previously announced he had a bout agreement signed, with an opponent undefeated in the UFC — where Santos is 7-0-1.
Dawson (16-1) is undefeated in the UFC himself, and is riding a seven-fight win streak into the fight. After defeating Darrick Minner in Norfolk by submission, he went the distance with Nad Narimani at UFC Fight Island 2 in July.
Santos (18-3-1) has been with the UFC since 2013, when he won The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 2 at welterweight. The closest thing to a blemish on his record during his time with the UFC was a draw with Norman Parke in 2014. He’s currently on a six-fight win streak, and coming off a unanimous decision win over Roman Bogatov at UFC 251 last July.
Perhaps Santos’ biggest opposition has been strength of schedule, with just one fight per year on average during his UFC tenure. Injuries have dogged the Brazilian fighter over the years, and he missed all of 2017 and 2018.
The UFC’s March 20 date does not have a location or venue officially announced. The following bouts have been reported for the event thus far.
Derek Brunson vs. Kevin Holland
Max Griffin vs. Song Kenan
Adrian Yanez vs. Gustavo Lopez
Kay Hansen vs. Cheyanne Buys
Julia Avila vs. Julija Stoliarenko
Trevin Giles vs. Dricus du Plessis
Paul Craig vs. Jamahal Hill
Tai Tuivasa vs. Don’Tale Mayes
Leonardo Santos vs. Grant Dawson