Las Vegas, NV — Brazilian light heavyweight Thiago Santos is proud of his career thus far.
Nine years ago today, Santos made his debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It was at UFC 163 in Brazil, and he fought Cezar Ferreira on the main card. “Marreta” would lose, ending up submitted in 47 seconds.
Santos might have lost his promotional debut, but the Brazilian would go on to have a spectacular career, and he isn’t done. He has been in the main event six times, fought for the light heavyweight title, and has received five Performance of the Night bonuses.
The 38-year-old is very proud of everything he has accomplished as he reflected on the anniversary of his UFC debut.
To be honest and I have always believed in myself. But you know, I grow inside of the UFC. I entered the UFC young in MMA. I remember I had, I think nine fights or something like that,” Santos told Cageside Press. I entered UFC and had ups and downs, you know, and I learned inside of the UFC, with the defeat, with some lows. And I grew, I learned it, and I’m here. I’m one of the best in the world, and I’m proud. I’m still proud of myself. You know, not only fight day, I’m proud of myself for what I do every single day. I train hard every single day. I’m 38 years old, but I train like a young guy, like 20 years old. So I’m proud of myself.”
Santos faces another young contender, Jamahal Hill, at UFC Vegas 59. The Brazilian knows Hill is a tough opponent, but he wants to see who will be the last man standing.
“He’s a tough opponent. [Very] aggressive,” Santos said. “He has some KOs, but I have the most KOs in this division in the UFC. So let’s see what’s going to happen. Let’s punch each other. Let’s kick each other. Let’s see who is going to stay standing.”
Watch the rest of Thiago Santos’ UFC Vegas 59 media day appearance above. The event takes place at the APEX in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday August 6.