Former Sengoku middleweight champion Jorge Santiago has officially been released from his obligations with the Japanese promotion and is poised to sign with a major U.S. promotion by next week.
Sources have indicated that a pending deal should be done any day now.
Malki Kawa of Authentic Sports Management, who represents Santiago, told MMAWeekly.com on Friday that they have fielded offers, but no deal has been signed at this time.
While details about the deal couldn’t be disclosed, Santiago is expected to land with either the UFC or Strikeforce once the final pen hits paper.
Santiago has a history with both promotions.
The Brazilian had a stint with the UFC in 2006 that saw him go 1-2 overall before he exited the organization. Santiago then went on to win a one night, four-man tournament for Strikeforce in which he finished off Sean Salmon and Trevor Prangley.
Santiago never fought for either promotion again because he then took his talents to Japan, where he fought for Sengoku, becoming their middleweight champion. He amassed a 7-1 overall record fighting for Sengoku.
Santiago has long talked about coming back and fighting in America, and it appears he is on the verge of doing just that.
While no further details could be given at the time of publication, Santiago is expected to sign with his new promotion within the next few days.
MMAWeekly.com will have more information on Santiago’s new deal and next fight when it becomes available.
UPDATE: ESPN.com spoke to UFC President Dana White who said that they have indeed signed Jorge Santiago to a new deal with the UFC and he is expected to return at UFC 130 in May. Santiago’s representatives still insist however that a deal has not been signed, but expect something to happen soon.