Finally getting the chance to make his promotional debut at UFC 273 was Daniel Santos, booked opposite seven-fight UFC veteran Julio Arce.
Chute Boxe fighter Santos had originally signed on with the promotion last year, only for a pair of opponents in Marcelo Rojo and Timur Valiev to fall through last October. The bigger story surrounding the fight, however, was the weight cut of Arce. Missing weight by just half a pound, he had cut right down to the wire, weighing in dead last with seconds to spare at Friday’s UFC 273 official weigh-in.
Would a rough cut reflect in his performance in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday night? Apparently not.
Santos was aggressive out of the gate putting Arce on his toes. Arce was throwing with the kicks and straight punches but Santos kept going forward. Santos in the clinch landed a good elbow and then a slick upward elbow. Arce did a good job staying patient and was splitting the guard with his jab. Santos was throwing with 100% power with no set-ups. Santos kept his hands up but Arce was still countering effectively. In the final seconds of the round Acre wobbled Santos with a head kick. He threw that kick a few times in the round and it finally got through.
More forward pressure from Santos early on in round two, but he did walk into a combination from Arce. Santos was still throwing heavy and Arce did attempt a takedown but it didn’t come together. Arce was landing good shots and his footwork was allowing him to get out of the way. Santos just winging shots but had trouble actually connecting on Arce. Both traded head kicks and Arce landed a beautiful combination to the body. More flashy kicks from Santos in the final minute and Arce kept him at the end of his jab and kicks.
Entering RD 3! 👊
— UFC (@ufc) April 9, 2022
In the final round, Santos just continued to throw with a lot of wasted motion missing on those explosive shots. As the round went on Arce continued to pull away with the jab landing every time he threw it. Arce never stayed stationary always moving side to side, not allowing Santos to find his range. The fight ended with Santos coming forward but it was all Arce landing the strikes. The scorecards reflected just that.
Official Result: Julio Arce def. Daniel Santos by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)