Salt Lake City, UT — It’s been eight months since last we saw Brazilian lightweight Leonardo Santos in action.
Last time out, Santos (18-5-1) found himself caught in a rear-naked choke by Clay Guida. For a 4th degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the loss stung just a little. More so than being tapped in a BJJ tournament, he explained during Wednesday’s UFC 278 media day.
“I think this hurts more than if it was in a jiu-jitsu tournament, of course,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press.
Asked about which he loved more, MMA or BJJ, Santos replied by saying that “MMA is crazy. It’s crazy. It’s different sports, you know. I think this is hard, it’s hard to live without this.”
How much longer he can live with it is a real question, however. Santos is now 42, with a fight against Jared Gordon lined up this Saturday at UFC 278. It’s a key fight for the Brazilian, who enters on a two-fight skid.
“Everyone asks me about this,” Santos noted. “I say this thing: if I’m happy, if I want to pay the price to stay there with the young guys, try to kill myself every day, like two to three times a day, late at night, cut weight— if I’m happy with this, why would I want to stop?”
“What am I going to do if I don’t do this?” he added.
Watch the full UFC 278 media day scrum with Leonardo Santos above.