Although he ultimately lost via split decision, Thiago “Marreta” Santos had an impressive fight with Jon Jones in the main event of UFC 239 over the weekend. But, as many people noticed, Santos appeared to be struggling to move on his left leg in the light heavyweight title match, and an MRI has revealed why: Santos tore his ACL, MCL, PCL, and meniscus in the first round of the fight, according to Combate and confirmed by MMA Junkie.
The trouble seemed to start after Santos threw a kick at his opponent, at which point he seemed to struggle to move normally. Multiple times throughout the fight, the leg appeared to give out from underneath him. He told MMA Junkie and other news outlets after the fight, “The first round wasn’t anything Jon Jones did to me. I felt the knee go out and it really bothered my fight. Everyone saw I did everything I could fighting on a bum knee, and I fought the whole fight like that.”
Doctors say that Santos’ right knee, which he had surgery on months before UFC 239, may also be reinjured now.
Due to the extent of his injuries, it will be highly unlikely that we’ll see Santos fight again this year. The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NAC) won’t let Santos fight for another six months if they can confirm his injuries, and it may be even longer depending on how long it takes him to recover. He is expected to receive surgery for his injuries this week.