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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Thiago Santos after loss at UFC Vegas 13?

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UFC Fight Night: Santos v Teixeira Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Vegas 13 blew the roof off UFC APEX last Sat. night (Nov. 7, 2020) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Claudia Gadelha, who was dominated by Yan Xiaonan. And Tanner Boser, who saw his two-fight win streak come to an end after getting outclassed by Andrei Arlovski.

But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Thiago Santos.

After coming up short in his bid to dethrone former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones at UFC 239 back in July 2019, Santos spent the next 16 months on the sidelines after undergoing extensive surgery to repair his shredded knee.

Upon his return, it looked as if “Marreta” hadn’t lost a step, cracking Teixeira with a couple of bombs that had him reeling in the first round. After failing to get the finish, Santos found himself defending multiple submission attempts from his 41-year-old foe. After leveling “Hands of Stone” again in the third round, Santos quickly realized that trying to get the finish over his fellow Brazilian bomber would be no easy task.

In the end, Teixeira managed to get great position, soften up “Marreta” with some ground-and-pound before eventually sinking in a rear-naked choked to earn his fifth straight win (see it again here), putting him right at the front of the championship line.

“I’m so disappointed by myself, I didn’t do anything what I have trained, I wasn’t there,” Santos wrote on Twitter. “I just wanna say sorry to my coaches, my family and everyone who support me. thank you God for everything in my life, I am so blessed, nothing can change my faith.”

That is now two straight defeats for Santos, who will likely lose his No. 1 ranking. Despite the loss, Santos showed no ill effects from his knee surgery and still looked like the power-packing puncher who has slept the best of them. He simply ran into a more determined foe who is enjoying a career resurrection.

“I wanna say congratulations to my opponent,” Santos continued. “He did what needed to do, he is a beast and so good guy, I learned a lot with that fight. I hope that UFC give him the title shot, he deserve that.”

As for what could be next for “Marreta,” perhaps a showdown against Volkan Oezdemir is in order. “No Time” — who is coming off a loss to Jiri Prochazka at UFC 251 this past summer — was in line to make his return against Nikita Krylov, but was forced out of the fight with an unfortunate knee injury.

With both combatants coming off tough defeats, the fire and desire to get a much-needed victory is there, which could make for a banger of a fight. Plus, since Jones is no longer dominating the division, an impressive win (or three) gets them right back in the championship mix.

Any objections?