Thiago Santos is hoping to fight for the UFC’s light-heavyweight title next, and the surging contender doesn’t expect the belt to change hands tonight in Las Vegas. Further, “Marreta” says he has a plan on how to end the reign of Jon Jones.
Jones will look to defend the 205 title tonight in the headliner of UFC 235, when he takes on former middleweight, Anthony Smith. The bout is happening one week after Santos took out contender Jan Blachowicz at UFC Prague.
Since that win was the fourth straight for Santos, and because he also took out Jimi Manuwa during that stretch, there’s been buzz about him fighting for the belt. Well, the feared striker recently talked to MMA Fighting, and when asked for his prediction on Jones – Smith, Santos said this:
“Jon Jones is the favorite, he has more weapons, but Smith can surprise him,” Santos said. “If I had to bet, I’d bet on Jon Jones by TKO.”
That certainly seems to be the consensus call for tonight’s contest. So, how would Santos approach Jones? And attempt to hand the ridiculously talented fighter his first real defeat?
“Being unpredictable, something he also does,” Santos said. “Every guy he fought was predictable. He fought with wrestlers, strikers, fighters that are too orthodox. You have to be as unpredictable as he is to fight someone like him. My fighting style, this unpredictability, will be the differential and the key to beat him.”
It will be interesting to see who will be next for Jones, if he indeed, defends the title tonight. Santos is currently ranked #4, so, unless Daniel Cormier returns to 205, “Marreta” very well could be next. Smith is currently ranked #3 and Alexander Gustafsson is #2.
Here is the line-up for UFC 235.
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Jon Jones (c) vs. Anthony Smith
UFC Welterweight Championship
Tyron Woodley (c) vs. Kamaru Usman
Welterweight: Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren
Strawweight: Tecia Torres vs. Weili Zhang
Welterweight: Diego Sanchez vs. Mickey Gall
Female Bantamweight: Gina Mazany vs. Macy Chiasson
Featherweight: Jeremy Stephens vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
Light Heavyweight: Johnny Walker vs. Misha Cirkunov
Bantamweight: Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz
Bantamweight: Thomas Almeida vs. Marlon Vera