Thiago Santos fought most of the UFC 239 main event with his mobility severely compromised due to torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and meniscus of his left knee.
Santos fought light heavyweight champion Jon Jones at T-Mobile Arena in the featured fight of Saturday’s pay-per-view event in Las Vegas. “Marreta” lost to Jones via split decision after suffering the knee injury in the opening round of the five-round bout. It was the first time in Jones’ career that a judge scored a fight for his opponent.
During the event’s post-fight press conference, Santos revealed that he felt something give way in his knee toward the end of the first round. Several times throughout the remainder of the fight Santos’ knee gave his difficulty, but the Brazilian fought on and nearly captured the 205-pound championship.
Brazilian news outlet Combate first reported the news of Santos’ injuries and his manager, Alex Davis, confirmed the news with several outlets on Monday. The 35-year old will likely be sidelined for an extended period of time.
“I fought four rounds on a southpaw stance, unable to move like I usually move, unable to throw the strikes I usually throw. I didn’t shock the world because of those circumstances, but I did what I could do in those conditions and I’m satisfied,” said Santos during the post-fight press conference.