Thiago Santos Targets
Jason Silva for USA TODAY Sports

Thiago Santos targets a fight with Jimi Manuwa after getting his hand raised in his latest fight inside of the Octagon under the UFC banner.

How We Got Here

It was revealed on earlier this week that Manuwa was forced to withdraw from his scheduled fight against Santos in a light heavyweight bout. As a result, the UFC needed to find a short-notice replacement to serve as the opponent for Santos and to save this main event. Thus, they got Eryk Anders.

Manuwa is coming off of back-to-back losses to Jan Blachowicz and Volkan Oezdemir. Prior to those losses, he was on a two-fight win streak where he knocked out both of those opponents.

Thiago Santos Targets

As seen in the main event of Saturday’s UFC Sao Paulo event that aired on FOX Sports 1, Santos defeated Anderson via TKO at 5:00 of the third round. This came right after Anders collapsed multiple times trying to get to his stool and as a result, the referee stepped in to stop the fight.

Following the fight, while speaking with media members, Santos made it known that he hasn’t forgotten about Manuwa and seeks a fight with him next.

“I’m going to send him a message right now,” Santos said to MMAJunkie. “I hope he recovers really well, and as soon as possible. And I hope to meet with him in December so we can fulfill the contract we signed.”

“Eryk was holding the cage so he wouldn’t fall,” Santos said. “So the ref pulled me apart and told me to come back. So I went and came back. I thought he was going to stop the fight, but he told me to continue.

“The whole time my trainers were talking about the time, and I knew it was almost up, so I tried to throw a lot of strikes so the fight would end, or he would finish the round hurt, and that’s what happened. I got tired, but it’s normal to get tired in a fight as intense as that,” Santos said. “But I felt conscious of whatever was happening. I felt power in my punches, but I was a little bit slower. So I’ll sit down with my coaches, and we’ll see what will be done.”