After disappointing performance at UFC Vegas 50, what’s next for Thiago Santos?

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 06: Thiago Santos of Brazil looks on prior to a UFC Light Heavyweight Title bout against Jon Jones at T-Mobile Arena on July 06, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

This past weekend in the main event of UFC Vegas 50 we saw a battle between two top light heavyweight contenders. Former title challenger Thiago Santos (22-10) was looking to derail the surging Magomed Ankalaev (17-1).

Entering UFC Vegas 50, I thought the fight could go one of two ways. In the first scenario, I saw both men being very technical and a little gun-shy which would lead to a relatively boring fight ending in a decision.

In the second scenario, someone would get clipped and we’d see a TKO finish. Well, we almost got the second one at the hands of Thiago Santos. In the second round, Santos was able to drop and hurt Ankalaev.

However, that was really the only time he had some serious momentum at UFC Vegas 50. For the most part, we saw a technical battle with Magomed Ankalaev getting the better of the striking from the outside. In the end, Ankalaev got the decision win in a rather underwhelming fight.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 50?

For Thiago Santos, this was just another disappointing performance. When Santos first made the jump up to light heavyweight from middleweight, he looked like a destroyer. He even scored a TKO win over Jan Blachowicz.

That led him to a title shot with Jon Jones. However, Santos would completely tear his knee apart in that fight. We haven’t seen the same Thiago Santos in the UFC since the knee injury.

Upon returning from that injury, Santos is now just 1-3 with the lone win coming in another underwhelming fight against Johnny Walker. So, after this latest loss, what is next for the former title challenger.

Honestly, it’s really hard to say what should be next. Perhaps a fight with fellow title challenger Dominick Reyes is in order whenever Reyes returns. That could be something that the UFC looks into with the winner getting back on track while the loser would have to take a long look at their career.

Time will tell, but time is not on Santos’ side. If he wants to make another run towards the UFC title, he needs to turn things around and do it quickly.