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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Thiago Santos after loss at UFC Vegas 50?

UFC Fight Night: Santos v Ankalaev Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

After the dust settled at UFC Vegas 50 — which went down this past weekend (Sat., March 12, 2022) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada — several fighters were left feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Marlon Moraes, who suffered his fourth straight defeat after losing to Song Yadong via first round knockout (relive it here).

And Karl Roberson, who was knocked out by Khalil Rountree, his third straight defeat. In addition, Kris Moutinho got put away by Guido Cannetti in the first round (see it again here). But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Thiago Santos.

Coming into his headlining fight against Magomed Ankalaev, Santos did have a bit pressure off his shoulders after snapping his previous three-fight skid with a big win over Johnny Walker. And despite his previous woes, “Marreta” still managed to hang on to his Top 5 ranking.

But, his time in the win column didn’t last long. Santos couldn’t do enough to earn back-to-back wins since 2018-2019 because Ankalaev did what needed to be done to impress all of the judges, though it’s not saying much because the fight was a snoozer.

Still, Ankalaev is on his way up after collecting his eighth straight victory inside the Octagon while Santos is now just 1-4 in his last five fights. That means Ankalaev will likely take “Marreta’s” spot in the Top 5. As for Santos, he isn’t offering up any excuses for his latest setback.

“No words about yesterday, no excuses, another hard and painful defeat,” he wrote on Instagram. “Still, my faith in God remains unshakable and my gratitude to him, my family, my friends, coaches and true fans only increases, thank you for everything.”

Santos still has the talent, power and potential to work his way up to another championship fight, but it seems the man that took Jon Jones to deep waters on bum knees just has been unable to show up over the last couple of years.

But, I still think he’s in there somewhere.

It’s too early to completely count out a power-puncher like Santos, and it’s not time for that talk just yet. As far as what could be next for the hard-hitting Brazilian, perhaps a fight against Dominick Reyes is in order.

Since losing in his first-ever UFC championship fight against Jon Jones, “The Dominator” hasn’t looked too good (just like Santos). Including his loss to “Bones,” Reyes is on a three-fight losing streak and hasn’t tasted victory since Oct. 2019. It’s a fresh fight at 205 pounds that I’m frankly quite surprised we haven’t seen yet.

But, as they say, no time like the present.


For complete UFC Vegas 50 results and coverage click here.