Leonardo Santos (fighter)

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Leonardo Santos
Born (1980-02-05) February 5, 1980 (age 40)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Other namesLamparão
ResidenceCampos dos Goytacazes, Brazil
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st)
Reach75 in (191 cm)
Fighting out ofCampos dos Goytacazes, Brazil
TeamNova União
Rank4th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[1] under Wendell Alexander[2]
Years active2002–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout3
By submission9
By decision5
By disqualification1
By knockout1
By decision2
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
Leonardo Santos
Medal record
Representing  Brazil
Men's Submission Wrestling
ADCC World Championship
Bronze medal – third place 2001 Abu Dhabi -77kg[3]
Men's Brazilian jiu-jitsu
World Jiu-Jitsu Championship
Silver medal – second place 2001 Rio de Janeiro -77kg (Black)[4]
Bronze medal – third place 2000 Rio de Janeiro -77kg (Black)[5]

Leonardo Silva dos Santos (born February 5, 1980) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist currently competing in the Lightweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A professional competitor since 2002, he has formerly competed for World Victory Road, BAMMA, and was the winner of the The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 welterweight tournament.[6]

Early life and BJJ[edit]

Santos was born on February 5, 1980 in Rio de Janeiro. His brother is MMA fighter Wagnney Fabiano. He started training Jiu Jitsu when he was 5 years old under the legendary trainer Wendell Alexander (Co-Founder of Nova Uniao) in Vila da penha (Rio de Janeiro) at the Mello Tenis Club. Although Santos as a kid had other interests (mainly soccer) and didn’t enjoy training all that much but he felt obliged to train as his older cousin and brother were avid Jiu Jitsu practitioners. With time Santos started enjoying the benefits of Jiu Jitsu and also started enjoying the BJJ routine, success in BJJ Comps came with this new found love for the martial art.

In 1995 Mr. Alexander (Leo’s Coach) joined with Dedé Pederneiras to make Nova Uniao, one of the strongest teams in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the world had seen, and Leo Santos soon was one of Nova Uniao’s star competitors.

In 2002 Santos stopped competing at the Mundial (CBJJ World Championships) as this competition did not offer prize money to its competitors. This was something that a lot of fighters pressed for and which catapulted the rise of CBJJO. Santos started competing in CBJJO’s tournaments only (with gi) and was undefeated for over 5 years in that organization.

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career, Shooto and Sengoku[edit]

Santos make his MMA debut against rising undefeated Japanese superstar Takanori Gomi, who at the time was the Shooto World Welterweight (154 lb) Champion. The fight ended with a Majority Decision win for Gomi.[7]

After this bout Santos returned to BJJ full-time, winning the World Cup Championship 4 times between 2002 and 2005. In 2006 after a short time helping his brother Wagnney with his academy in Canada, Leonardo started dedicating himself fully to MMA. He compiled an 8–3 record with major promotions like Shooto and World Victory Road.


He made his BAMMA debut at BAMMA 6, defeating Jason Ball via unanimous decision.[8]

Santos was scheduled to face Rob Sinclair at BAMMA 7, however he pulled out of the fight, refusing to fly over from Paris as he knew he would not make weight and knew he would not be able make the full amount of money from competing anyway.[9]

The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil[edit]

In March 2013, it was revealed that Santos was a cast member of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2.[10] He won his elimination fight to get into the TUF house, defeating Luciano Contini by TKO in round 1. He was chosen to be a member of Team Nogueira. Over the course of the show, Santos defeated Juliano Wandalen and Thiago Santos both by unanimous decision to reach the semifinals. In the semifinals, he lost to Santiago Ponzinibbio by unanimous decision. However, Ponzinibbio broke his hand during this semifinal fight and was replaced by Santos in the finals against William Macário. This semifinal-round fight with Ponzinibbio, however, was picked as the Fight of the Season, and both welterweights picked up a $25,000 bonus.[11]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Santos fought Macário in the finals on June 8, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV 10. After a strong first round by Macário, Santos rallied and won via submission in the second round to become the tournament winner.[12]

For his second fight with the promotion, Santos faced TUF: Smashes lightweight winner Norman Parke at UFC Fight Night 38.[13] The fight ended in a majority draw.

Santos faced returning veteran Efrain Escudero on September 13, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 51.[14] He won the fight by unanimous decision.

Santos was expected to face Matt Wiman on March 21, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 62.[15] However, Wiman was forced out of the bout on February 11 with a back injury and was replaced by Tony Martin.[16] He won the fight by submission in the second round.

Santos faced Kevin Lee on December 12, 2015 at UFC 194.[17] Despite being a significant underdog, Santos won the fight via TKO in the first round and earned a Performance of the Night bonus.[18][19]

Santos was expected to face Evan Dunham on June 4, 2016 at UFC 199.[20] However, Santos pulled out on April 29 due to an undisclosed injury and was replaced by James Vick.[21]

Santos next faced Adriano Martins on October 8, 2016 at UFC 204.[22] He won the fight via split decision.[23]

Santos was expected to face Olivier Aubin-Mercier on June 3, 2017 at UFC 212.[24] However the bout was scrapped on May 18 as both fighters were removed from the card.[25]

Santos was expected to face Nik Lentz on June 1, 2018 at UFC Fight Night 131.[26] However, it was reported on April 28, 2018 that Santos was pulled from the event due to a hand injury.[27]

Santos faced Stevie Ray on June 1, 2019 at UFC Fight Night 153.[28] He won the fight via knockout in the first round.[29] The win also earned Santos his second Performance of the Night bonus award.[30]

Santos was set to face Jared Gordon on November 16, 2019 at UFC on ESPN+ 22. However, he withdrew from the fight and was replaced by Charles Oliveira.[31]

Santos faced Roman Bogatov on July 11, 2020 at UFC 251.[32] He won the fight via unanimous decision.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Santos has a son, Pedro.[34]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[edit]

  • World Championships IBJJF
    • 4x World Cup Champion (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005)
    • Silver World Medalist (2001 Black Belt Division)
    • Bronze World Medalist (2000 Black Belt Division)
    • ADCC Bronze Medalist (2001)
    • ADCC Brazilian Trial Champion (2005)
    • 4th Place in the ADCC Finals (2005)

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Professional record breakdown
22 matches 18 wins 3 losses
By knockout 3 1
By submission 9 0
By decision 5 2
By disqualification 1 0
Draws 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 18–3–1 Roman Bogatov Decision (unanimous) UFC 251 July 12, 2020 3 5:00 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Bogatov was deducted two points in round 3 after multiple illegal infractions.
Win 17–3–1 Stevie Ray KO (punch) UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Smith June 1, 2019 1 2:17 Stockholm, Sweden Performance of the Night.
Win 16–3–1 Adriano Martins Decision (split) UFC 204 October 8, 2016 3 5:00 Manchester, England
Win 15–3–1 Kevin Lee TKO (punches) UFC 194 December 12, 2015 1 3:26 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 14–3–1 Anthony Rocco Martin Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. LaFlare March 21, 2015 2 2:29 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Win 13–3–1 Efrain Escudero Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Bigfoot vs. Arlovski September 13, 2014 3 5:00 Brasília, Brazil
Draw 12–3–1 Norman Parke Draw (majority) UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Henderson 2 March 23, 2014 3 5:00 Natal, Brazil Return to Lightweight. Parke was deducted one point for grabbing Santos' shorts.
Win 12–3 William Macário Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC on Fuel TV: Nogueira vs. Werdum June 8, 2013 2 4:43 Fortaleza, Brazil Won The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 Welterweight Tournament.
Win 11–3 Mark Holst Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke) Cage Warriors Fight Night 7 September 1, 2012 1 1:14 Amman, Jordan
Win 10–3 Gilmar da Silva Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke) Shooto: Brazil 28 March 10, 2012 1 1:47 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Win 9–3 Jason Ball Decision (unanimous) BAMMA 6: Watson vs. Rua May 21, 2011 3 5:00 London, England
Win 8–3 Sotaro Yamada DQ (knees to the groin) World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku Raiden Championships 14 August 22, 2010 1 3:56 Tokyo, Japan
Win 7–3 Kiuma Kunioku Submission (rear-naked choke) World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku Raiden Championships 12 March 7, 2010 1 3:06 Tokyo, Japan
Loss 6–3 Kazunori Yokota Decision (split) World Victory Road Presents: Sengoku 8 May 2, 2009 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 6–2 Danilo Noronha Submission (arm-triangle choke) Shooto: Brazil 10 January 17, 2009 1 3:20 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Win 5–2 Corey Edwards KO (head kick) Shooto: Brazil 9 November 28, 2008 1 1:21 Fortaleza, Brazil
Win 4–2 Alan Lopes Submission (triangle choke) Shooto: Brazil 8 August 30, 2008 1 2:10 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Win 3–2 Christian Lopez Submission (arm-triangle choke) Shooto: Brazil 7 June 28, 2008 1 0:40 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Win 2–2 Rafael Bastos Decision MTL: Mo Team League 2 July 29, 2007 3 5:00 São Paulo, Brazil
Loss 1–2 Jean Silva KO (punch) Super Challenge 1 October 7, 2006 1 1:12 Barueri, Brazil
Win 1–1 Gabriel Moraes Submission (rear-naked choke) Guarafight 3 August 12, 2006 1 N/A Guarapari, Brazil
Loss 0–1 Takanori Gomi Decision (majority) Shooto: Treasure Hunt 7 June 29, 2002 3 5:00 Sakai, Japan Lightweight debut.

Mixed martial arts exhibition record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 3–1 Santiago Ponzinibbio Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 N/A (airdate) 3 5:00 São Paulo, Brazil Semi-finals bout.
Win 3–0 Thiago Santos Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 N/A (airdate) 2 5:00 São Paulo, Brazil Quarter-finals bout.
Win 2–0 Márcio Santos Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 N/A (airdate) 2 5:00 São Paulo, Brazil Preliminary bout.
Win 1–0 Luciano Contini TKO (finger injury) The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 March 17, 2013 (airdate) 1 N/A São Paulo, Brazil TUF: Brazil 2 house entry bout.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Leonardo Silva dos Santos - Official UFC Fighter Profile". Retrieved October 11, 2016.
  2. ^ "Leo Santos talks about his memorable fight with Royler Gracie, teaches an ezequiel choke from side attack". graciemag.com. September 16, 2016.
  3. ^ https://adcombat.com/adcc-events/adcc-2001-results/
  4. ^ https://ibjjf.com/results/world-jiu-jitsu-championship-2001-results/
  5. ^ https://ibjjf.com/results/world-jiu-jitsu-championship-2000-results/
  6. ^ Sherdog.com. "Leonardo Santos MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  7. ^ Sherdog.com (2002-06-29). "Shooto Treasure Hunt 7". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  8. ^ Bones, Crackity (2011-05-21). "BAMMA 6 Kong vs Ninja Live Results and Commentary". Bloody Elbow. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  9. ^ Shaun Al-Shatti (2011-09-09). "BAMMA 7 Fight Card: Leonardo Santos Withdraws From Title Bout, Diego Vital Steps In - MMA Nation". Mma.sbnation.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
  10. ^ "TUF: Brazil 2 debuts on March 17 with Brazil's top 28 welterweights". TUF.tv. March 7, 2013. Archived from the original on April 19, 2013. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  11. ^ Staff (2013-06-09). "'TUF: Brazil 2' show bonuses: Season champ Leonardo Santos earns an extra $25K". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  12. ^ a b Matt Erickson (2013-06-08). "UFC on FUEL TV 10 results: Leonardo Santos wins 'TUF: Brazil 2' title". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  13. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2014-01-22). "Three fights added to UFC Fight Night card in Natal". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
  14. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2014-08-28). "Leonardo Santos vs. Efrain Escudero now set for UFC Fight Night 51". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
  15. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2015-01-22). "UFC Fight Night 62 filling up fast with addition of three new match-ups". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-01-22.
  16. ^ Jason Floyd (2015-02-11). "Matt Wiman out of UFC Fight Night 62 due to back injury, Leonardo Santos will now meet Tony Martin". themmareport.com. Retrieved 2015-02-11.
  17. ^ Adam Hill (2015-08-21). "Streaking lightweights meet at UFC 194". reviewjournal.com. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  18. ^ Brent Brookhouse (2015-12-12). "UFC 194 results: Heavy underdog Leonardo Santos stops Kevin Lee with first-round TKO". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
  19. ^ Tristen Critchfield (2015-12-13). "UFC 194 bonuses: McGregor, Rockhold, Weidman, Santos capture $50K awards". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  20. ^ Guilherme Cruz (2016-03-15). "Evan Dunham suffers 'small injury', fight with Leonardo Santos moved to UFC 199". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  21. ^ Dave Meltzer (2016-04-29). "James Vick steps in to face Evan Dunham in lightweight duel at UFC 199". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  22. ^ Evelyn Rodrigues, Marcelo Barone, Marcelo Russio e Raphael Marinho (2016-07-11). "Ultimate brand Léo Santos vs Adriano Martins at UFC 204, October 8 (Brazilian Portuguese)". sportv.globo.com. Retrieved 2016-07-11.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  23. ^ Steven Marrocco (2016-10-08). "UFC 204 results: Leonardo Santos takes split call from Adriano Martins in battle of Brazilians". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  24. ^ Staff (2017-04-03). "Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Leonardo Santos added to UFC 212 in Brazil". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  25. ^ Danny Segura (2017-05-19). "Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Leonardo Santos scrapped from UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2017-05-19.
  26. ^ Staff (2018-04-16). "Nik Lentz vs. Leonardo Santos is 13th addition to UFC Utica". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  27. ^ "Leonardo Santos injured, out of UFC Utica fight with Nik Lentz". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  28. ^ Staff (2019-04-02). "Leonardo Santos returns after 32-month layoff, meets Stevie Ray at UFC on ESPN+ 10". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  29. ^ "UFC Stockholm: Leonardo Santos flatlines Stevie Ray in UFC return". FanSided. 2019-06-01. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  30. ^ Lee, Alexander K. (2019-06-01). "UFC Stockholm bonuses: Anthony Smith, head-kicking Aleksandar Rakic among winners". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2019-06-01.
  31. ^ Mike Heck (May 4, 2020). "Jared Gordon clears up misconceptions on recent fight offer: 'I'm not gonna sell my soul'". mmafighting.com.
  32. ^ DNA, MMA. "M-1 Global kampioen Roman Bogatov maakt UFC debuut tegen Leonardo Santos op Yas Island". Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  33. ^ Bitter, Shawn (2020-07-11). "UFC 251 Results: Leonardo Santos Edges Roman Bogatov". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2020-07-12.
  34. ^ Guilherme Cruz (July 10, 2020). "'Fight Island' will give Leo Santos another bedtime story for his son". mmafighting.com.
  35. ^ "UFC Stockholm bonuses: Anthony Smith's main event submission leads $50K winners". MMAmania. 2019-06-01. Retrieved 2019-06-01.

External links[edit]