Former UFC title challenger Taila Santos no longer with the promotion

Jun 12, 2022; Singapore, SIN; Taila Santos (blue gloves) before the fight against Valentina Shevchenko (red gloves) during UFC 275 at Singapore Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Miller-USA TODAY Sports

A former UFC title challenger is no longer with the promotion. In a stunning revelation, former strawweight title challenger Taila Santos (19-3) is no longer with the promotion. Santos was ranked third in the flyweight division when it was revealed that she was released from her deal.

At this point, there’s no official word as to why Santos and the UFC decided to part ways. Twitter User Roster Tracker was the first to announce that Santos was no longer on the roster. MMA Fighting followed up and confirmed the report that Santos was no longer under contract.

Santos had lost her last two UFC fights, but one of those was the controversial split decision loss to Valentina Shevchenko for the flyweight title. There are a lot of people who thought Santos won that fight, but two judges gave the fight to Shevchenko. How different things would be had that decision gone the other way.

Life after the UFC

Following the loss to Shevchenko, Santos took on Erin Blanchfield earlier this year and lost a competitive decision. Now, she’s no longer under contract with the UFC and she’s hitting the open market. It’s going to be interesting to see where she ends up.

Bellator would make a ton of sense given their push with the women’s flyweight division. A matchup between Liz Carmouche and Taila Santos would be very compelling for the flyweight title. However, Bellator is in the process of being sold (likely to the PFL) and there’s no word on what the future holds there.

There have been rumors that the PFL would keep Bellator running for a while before absorbing them. If PFL just takes in Bellator, I could see them signing the former UFC title challenger. ONE Championship could also be a name to watch here.

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