Fresh from his fight of the century candidate against Kazuo Misaki, former Sengoku fighter Jorge Santiago has rejoined the UFC. Holding an overall MMA record of 23-8. Since his last UFC tenure, Santiago has lost only once. During his brief stint as a UFC fighter before, Santiago amassed a record of 1-2, beating Justin Levens, but losing via knockout to Chris Leben and Alan Belcher.
Dana White confirmed the news to ESPN.co.uk last night.
Santiago made his intentions clear last week, when he was released from his Sengoku contract. The Brazilian fighter was quick to aim for a US return, saying:
“I’m dying to come back. There’s so many guys that are putting on a good show in Strikeforce and the UFC. Hopefully this year I’ll come back to the U.S. and do a good job here, too.”
Since losing to Belcher, Santiago has only lost once, to Mamed Khalidov via TKO, which led to a rematch that saw him effectively dominate Khalidov over 5 rounds. Throughout his career, The American Top Team stand out has defeated fighters such as Sean Salmon, Siyar Bahadurzada, Trevor Prangley, Jeremy Horn and Kazuhiro Nakamura. The well travelled veteran has fought for the UFC, Strikeforce, Sengoku, Bodog and King of The Cage.
With both Alan Belcher and Chris Leben both looking for a match up in the early summer, Santiago's promotional debut could see him re-matched with one of the two. Santiago is expected to make is return to the Octagon on May 28th, on the already stacked UFC 130 card.