Craziest Finishes by UFC Light Heavyweight Thiago Santos

Published 10/01/2021, 12:34 PM EDT


Former light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos is currently #5 in the division. He has an impressive record of 21-9 in his professional MMA career. Furthermore, ‘Marreta’ is a skilled finisher. He has fifteen T/KO wins and one submission win to his name.

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The Brazilian fighter is currently on a three-fight skid. He will look for a way to get back into the win column in his next fight. The 37-year-old will take on the #10 fighter in the light heavyweight division, Johnny Walker, on 2nd October.

Walker is coming in on the back of a win in his last outing. This intriguing light heavyweight bout will serve as the main event at the UFC Fight Night. Ahead of this match-up, we look at some of the amazing finishes of Santos’s UFC career.

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Head Kick Knockout by Thiago Santos

Thiago Santos had only one loss in his MMA career before he made his debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Despite his impressive record, ‘Marreta’ faced a devastating loss in the first round of his debut fight in 2013. 

‘Marreta’ was 2-2 in the next two years in the UFC. He was coming off a win over Andy Enz when he faced the debutant Steve Bosse in 2015. The latter got dominated by ‘Marreta’ right from the get go.

It took only 29 seconds of the first round for Santos to secure a win via a vicious head kick handing Bosse a devastating loss in his UFC debut. Santos also won the performance of the night bonus.

Three Fight Win Streak

Following a rough patch in the promotion, ‘Marreta’ returned to his winning ways. He made his place in the light heavyweight roster with amazing back-to-back wins. He was on an impressive three-fight win streak before he faced Nate Marquardt at UFC 198.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 05: Thiago Santos of Brazil poses on the scale during the UFC 235 weigh-in at T-Mobile Arena on July 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Santos looked confident and dominated the fight. In the very first round of the fight, the Brazilian landed a body kick followed by a barrage of punches which forced the referee to stop the fight at 3:39. This was Santos’ fourth straight victory and also the fourth knockout win in the promotion.

Santos returns to his winning ways

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 07: (L-R) Thiago Santos of Brazil punches Glover Teixeira of Brazil in a light heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 07, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

2015 to mid-2016 turned out to be one of the most successful periods of Santos’s UFC career. He made his way up the ranks with amazing wins. However, adversity wasn’t too far away.

‘Marreta’ was on an impressive four-fight win streak until he suffered two back to back devastating losses in 2016. In his first bout of the year 2017, Santos faced Jack Marshman. It was a close fight and the first round ended with both men on their feet.

However, at 2:21 of the second round, Santos landed a stunning spinning kick which sent Marshman to the mat. ‘Marreta’ continued heavy ground and pound, which forced the referee to jump in and stop the fight, handing Marshman his first UFC loss. The Brazilian fighter bounced back into the win column with this victory. He also won the performance of the night bonus at the event.

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Thiago Santos: Eighth Knockout Win in UFC

The Brazilian knockout artist was back in the win column with his impressive performance inside the octagon. While winning fights one after the other, he cemented his position in the light heavyweight division of UFC.

‘Marreta’ was on an amazing three-fight win streak when he clashed against Jack Hermansson inside the cage on October 28 in 2017. He was coming off two stunning knockout wins. ‘The Joker’ also came into the matchup on a two-fight win streak.

Naturally, the fans were excited to see the clash, as both men had two knockout wins in their last bouts. It was a close fight.

Both the fighters look sharp in the first round. However, it was the Brazilian who landed a flying knee that sent Hermansson crashing to the canvas. Later Santos rained down heavy punches, forcing the referee to stop the fight at 4:59 in the very first round. This marked Santos’ third straight knockout victory and the second UFC loss of Hermansson’s career.

Third Performance of the Night Bonus in UFC

Thiago Santos has defeated many excellent fighters in the light heavyweight division of the promotion. He suffered only one loss from 2017 to 2018 with a 6-1 record in UFC. He was on a two-fight win streak when he faced Jimi Manuwa in 2018.

Like all his previous fights, Santos was looking for a finish against Manuwa as well. However, this didn’t happen in the first round of the fight, as Manuwa fired back at the Brazilian with his boxing and Muay Thai.

Nevertheless, the Brazilian unleashed his vicious strikes right after the bell in the second round. While both the fighters were exchanging heavy strikes, ‘Marreta’ landed a heavy left uppercut followed by a hard left, which shut Manuwa’s lights out for good.

This was Santos’ twelfth knockout win in the promotion and earned him his third UFC fight bonus.

What do you make out of Thiago Santos’s UFC career and his impressive knockout wins? Let us know in the comments below.

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Afnan Chougle

239 articles

Afnan Chougle is a UFC author at EssentiallySports. Besides writing, this Media graduate is an integral part of the digital web stories team for combat sports. Before joining EssentiallySports, Afnan gained valuable experience as an intern at Jiostudios Production House.

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