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‘I’m sure’ Jon Jones will ‘return stronger than ever,’ says Thiago Santos

Thiago Santos is confident Jon Jones will get his life together ahead of a return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Santos had a closely-contested split decision loss to “Bones” at UFC 239 in July 2019. Jones is currently dealing with allegations of domestic violence, putting his mixed martial arts (MMA) career on ice. Nevertheless, Santos is confident Jones can turn the corner on his personal life.

“Everybody has problems,” Santos told Sherdog. “I’m sure Jones will pass through that hard moment of his life and return stronger than ever, no matter if it’s at Heavyweight or Light Heavyweight. And that’s my hope as a fan and colleague. Jones is a legend of the sport and after seeing a guy like Glover (at age 42) do what he did, I’m sure Jones, who is only 34 years old, has a lot to give to our sport yet.”

Santos (No. 5) also revealed which top contender he wants to fight in the aftermath of Teixeira’s UFC Light Heavyweight title win against Jan Blachowicz (watch highlights) at UFC 267.

“I would love to face [Jiri] Prochazka, He is the only top-five opponent I haven’t faced yet, but since the UFC announced that he is the next No. 1 contender, I’m open to a few rematches,” he said. “I’ve already defeated Blachowicz and Anthony Smith via TKO, but it happened in 2018 and 2019, and I’m sure they are totally different fighters today. Aleksandar Rakic said I was an easy matchup, so I challenged him and he did not answer back.”

Santos (22-9) snapped a three-fight losing streak by beating Johnny Walker via unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 38 just last month.

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