Thiago Santos Biography: Thiago Santos is a Brazilian mixed martial artist born on January 7, 1984, and currently competes in the light heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional competitor since 2010, he entered the UFC by competing on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2. As of March 14, 2022, he is ranked Number Six in the UFC Light Heavyweight Rankings.
Thiago Santos: Family and Early Life
Thiago Santos was born on January 7, 1984 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. But, sadly, her parents have no idea. Similarly, the whereabouts of his siblings are also in the dark.
Early MMA career of Thiago Santos
Before starting MMA, Santos trained in Capoeira for eight years and was a paratrooper in the Brazilian army.
His professional MMA debut in October 2010. Before joining The Ultimate Fighter, his record was eight wins and only one loss.
Ultimate Warrior: Brazil
In March 2013, it was announced that Santos was part of the cast of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2.
In the opening round, Santos defeated Gil Freitas by the decision to enter the TUF house. He was the last pick for selecting coaches, finishing with Tim Werdum. In the elimination round, Santos first faced Pedro Iri and won by unanimous decision. In the quarterfinals, he faced last season’s winner Leonardo Santos and lost by unanimous decision.
UFC MMA Carrer of Thiago Santos
Santos was signed to a contract by the UFC. He debuted on August 3, 2013, at UFC 163 against The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil winner Cesar Ferreira. He lost the Fight by submission in the first round.
For his second Fight with the promotion, Santos faced Rony Marquez at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs Henderson 2 on March 23, 2014. He won the Fight by TKO in the first round.
Santos faced Uriah Hall at UFC 175. Thiago lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Santos next faced Andy Enz at UFC 183 on January 30, 2015. He won the Fight by TKO in the first round.
Santos faced promotional newcomer Steve Bose at UFC Fight Night 70 on June 27, 2015. Thiago won the Fight by knockout in the first round. Earned a Performance of the Night bonus
Santos faced Elias Theodorou at UFC Fight Night 80 on December 10, 2015. Thiago won the Fight by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, and 29-27).
Santos faced Nate Marquardt at UFC 198 on May 14, 2016. He won the Fight by knockout in the first round.
Santos fought Gegard Mousasi at UFC 200 on July 9, 2016, to fill in for the injured Derek Brunson. and lost the Fight by knockout in the first round.
Santos fought Eric Spicely at UFC Fight Night 95 on September 24, 2016. He lost the Fight by submission in the first round in a major upset.
Santos faced Jack Marshman at UFC Fight Night 105 on February 19, 2017. He won the Fight by TKO in the second round for a combination of spinning heel kicks and punches and won the Performance of the Night bonus award.
Santos faced Gerald Mershart at UFC 213 on July 8, 2017. He won the Fight by TKO in the 2nd round.
Santos was briefly linked to a bout with promotional newcomer Michał Materla at UFC Fight Night 118 on October 21, 2017. However, on September 1, it was revealed that Materla had rejected his contract with the UFC and was re-signing with the Poles. Regional promotion KSW. Instead, Santos was removed from the card and faced Jake Hermanson at UFC Fight Night 119 a week later. He won the Fight by technical knockout in the first round.
Santos faced Anthony Smith at UFC Fight Night 125 on February 3, 2018. He won the Fight by technical knockout in the second round. The win earned him the Fight of the Night bonus.
Santos faced David Branch at UFC Fight Night 128 on April 21, 2018. Thiago lost the Fight by knockout in the first round
Santos faced promotional newcomer Kevin Holland at UFC 227 on August 4, 2018. He won the Fight by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27 and 29-26).
Thiago Santos light heavyweight career
On September 22, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 137, Santos was scheduled to face Jimmy Manua in a light heavyweight bout replacing the injured Glover Teixeira. Manuwa withdrew from the bout on September 16, 2018, due to a torn hamstring and was replaced by Erick Anders. Santos defeated Anders via referee stoppage TKO after Anders failed to rise to his corner after round three. The win earned him the Fight of the Night award.
Santos faced Jimmy Manua at UFC 231 on December 8, 2018. He won by KO early in the second round. The win earned him the Performance of the Night award and tied him with 5 for the most fights in a calendar year.
Santos faced Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night 145 on February 23, 2019. Thiago won the Fight by TKO in the third round and win earned him the Performance of the Night award.
After going 3–0 undefeated in light heavyweight bouts, Santos challenged Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the main event at UFC 239 on July 6, 2019. He lost a back-and-forth fight via split decision. Santos was the first fighter in MMA history to win a judge’s scorecard against Jones despite the loss. He sustained a torn tibia along with a torn left ACL, PCL, MCL, meniscus and a partially torn right meniscus during the Fight.
Santos was scheduled to fight Glover Teixeira at UFC Fight Night 177 on September 12, 2020. However, due to Teixeira testing positive for Covid-19 a week before the Fight, the pair was rescheduled to fight on October 4, 2020, at the UFC. ESPN: Holm vs Aldana. Instead, on September 15, the Fight was postponed again after Santos himself tested positive for the virus. The pair finally met with Teixeira on November 7, 2020 on ESPN: Santos vs. Teixeira at UFC. Despite nearly finishing Teixeira on several occasions. Santos lost the Fight by submission in three rounds.
Santos faces Aleksandar Rakic at UFC 259 on March 6, 2021. He lost the Fight by unanimous decision.
Santos faced Johnnie Walker at UFC Fight Night 193 on October 2, 2021. Thiago won the Fight by unanimous decision.
Santos faces Magomed Ankleev at UFC Fight Night 203 on March 12, 2022. He lost by unanimous decision
Santos is scheduled to face Jamahal Hill on August 6, 2022, at UFC on ESPN 40.
Personal life of Thiago Santos
Santos has a son, Tiago, from a previous relationship. Santos runs a non-profit organization that provides free mixed martial arts training to children from low-income families.
He is in a relationship with fellow UFC athlete Yana Kunitskaya. The pair got engaged in December 2020, and in August 2021, Kunitskaya announced that they were expecting their first child together.
Thiago Santos’ championships and achievements
- UFC Performance of the Night vs Jack Marshman, Steve Boss, Jimmy Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz. (four times)
- MMATorch 2015 Semi-Final Knockouts vs Steve Boss
- MMAjunkie 2018 Round of the Year (Round 1) vs Jimmy Manuwa.
Thiago Santos MMA Record
22 wins and ten losses in 32 matches
15 in 3 knockouts
Six by four decision
Thiago Santos: Net Worth and Salary
Santos has an estimated net worth of over $1.5 million as of 2021, according to First Sports. According to The Sports Daily, he earned around $2,004,600 during his UFC career. His biggest paycheck ($380,000) came from his UFC light heavyweight title fight against Jon Jones in 2019.
Thiago Santos Achievements
‘Marietta’ holds a proud record of 21-9-0 in his MMA career. Additionally, according to his UFC profile, the 37-year-old holds a black belt in Muay Thai, a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a green rope in Capoeira. Thiago has received four ‘Performance of the Night and two ‘Fight of the Night awards in the UFC.
Thiago Santos Fighting Style
Given Santos’ record, he is a striker who doesn’t want to overpower and submit to his opponent. However, he is not one to strike with reckless abandon. ‘Marreta’ has absorbed just 2.33 strikes per minute in the UFC and has a 55% strike defence.
Who is the partner of Thiago Santos?
Thiago Santos is also engaged to UFC women’s bantamweight fighter Yana Kunitskaya, currently ranked #6.