|Born||Thiago Santos de Lima|
January 7, 1984
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Nickname(s)||Marreta (The Sledgehammer)|
|Residence||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)|
|Division||Light heavyweight (2018-present)|
|Reach||76 in (193 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Team||American Top Team|
TATA Fight Team
|Rank||Green rope in Capoeira|
Black belt in Muay Thai
Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
|Years active||2010–present (MMA)|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Thiago Santos de Lima (born January 7, 1984) is a Brazilian mixed martial artist currently signed to the Professional Fighters League (PFL), competing in the light heavyweight division. Prior to signing with the PFL, Santos competed for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the light heavyweight and middleweight divisions, and he challenged for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship once in July 2019. A professional competitor since 2010, he gained entrance into the UFC by competing on The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2.
Santos was born into a poverty-stricken family in Rio de Janeiro. In early childhood, he suffered from an undiagnosed disease that spawned growing cysts in his stomach, but which were surgically removed. In one of the occasional floods in his city, Santos' family lost their belongings and after a period of homelessness, they settled in the notorious neighborhood of Cidade de Deus. Santos' father died just days after his mixed martial arts debut in 2010.
Mixed martial arts career
He made his professional MMA debut in October 2010. Before joining The Ultimate Fighter, he had a record of 8 wins and only 1 loss.
The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil
In the opening round, Santos defeated Gil Freitas by majority decision to get into the TUF house. He was the last pick when it came to the coaches' pick, ending up on Team Werdum. In the elimination round, Santos first faced Pedro Iriê and won by unanimous decision. In the quarterfinals, he faced eventual season winner Leonardo Santos and lost via unanimous decision.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Despite not winning the show, Santos was signed to a contract by the UFC. He made his debut on August 3, 2013, at UFC 163 against The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil winner Cezar Ferreira. He lost the fight via submission in the first round.
Santos faced Jack Marshman on February 19, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 105. He won the fight via TKO in the second round due to a combination of a spinning heel kick and punches and picked up a Performance of the Night bonus award.
Santos was briefly linked to a bout with promotional newcomer Michał Materla on October 21, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 118. However, it was revealed on 1 September that Materla had reneged on his agreement with the UFC and was re-signing with the Polish regional promotion KSW. In turn, Santos was removed from the card and faced Jack Hermansson a week later at UFC Fight Night 119. He won the fight via technical knock out in round one.
Move to Light Heavyweight
Santos was scheduled to face Jimi Manuwa in a light heavyweight bout on September 22, 2018, at UFC Fight Night 137, replacing injured Glover Teixeira. Manuwa would also pull out of the bout on September 16, 2018 due to a torn hamstring and he was replaced by Eryk Anders. Santos defeated Anders via referee stoppage TKO when Anders failed to make it to his corner at the conclusion of round three. This win earned him the Fight of the Night award.
Santos faced Jimi Manuwa on December 8, 2018, at UFC 231. He won by KO on early 2nd round. This win earned him the Performance of the Night award and tied for most bout in a calendar year with 5.
After going undefeated at 3–0 in Light Heavyweight bouts, Santos challenged Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the main event at UFC 239 on July 6, 2019. He lost the back-and-forth fight via split decision. Despite the loss, Santos was the first fighter in MMA history to win a judge's scorecard against Jones. During the fight he sustained a torn left ACL, PCL, MCL, meniscus, and cracked tibia along with a partially torn right meniscus.
Santos was scheduled to Glover Teixeira on September 12, 2020 at UFC Fight Night 177. However, due to Teixeira tested positive for COVID-19 a week prior to the bout, the pair was rescheduled to fight on October 4, 2020 at UFC on ESPN: Holm vs. Aldana. In turn, on September 15, the bout was postponed again as Santos himself tested positive for the virus. The pairing with Teixeira eventually took place on November 7, 2020 at UFC on ESPN: Santos vs. Teixeira. Despite nearly finishing Teixeira on a couple occasions. Santos lost the fight via submission in round three.
Professional Fighters League
After fighting out his UFC contract, it was announced on September 8, 2022, that Santos had signed a multi-fight deal with the Professional Fighters League, and that he would be a participant in their 2023 season as a light heavyweight.
Santos has a son, Hiago, from a previous relationship.
Santos runs a non-profit organization that offers free mixed martial arts training for children coming from poor families.
Santos is in a relationship with fellow UFC athlete, Yana Kunitskaya. The pair got engaged in December, 2020, and in August 2021, Kunitskaya announced that they were expecting their first child together.
Championships and accomplishments
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Performance of the Night (Four times) vs. Jack Marshman, Steve Bossé, Jimi Manuwa and Jan Błachowicz
- Fight of the Night (Three times) vs. Anthony Smith, Eryk Anders and Jamahal Hill
- Tied for most UFC bouts in a calendar year (5).
- Tied for most knockout victories in UFC Middleweight division history (eight) with Anderson Silva & Uriah Hall.
- 2015 Best Knockout of the Half-Year vs. Steve Bossé
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|33 matches||22 wins||11 losses|
|Loss||22–11||Jamahal Hill||TKO (punches and elbows)||UFC on ESPN: Santos vs. Hill||August 6, 2022||4||2:31||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||22–10||Magomed Ankalaev||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Ankalaev||March 12, 2022||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||22–9||Johnny Walker||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Walker||October 2, 2021||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||21–9||Aleksandar Rakić||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 259||March 6, 2021||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||21–8||Glover Teixeira||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC on ESPN: Santos vs. Teixeira||November 7, 2020||3||1:49||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||21–7||Jon Jones||Decision (split)||UFC 239||July 6, 2019||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||For the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.|
|Win||21–6||Jan Błachowicz||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Błachowicz vs. Santos||February 23, 2019||3||0:39||Prague, Czech Republic||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||20–6||Jimi Manuwa||KO (punch)||UFC 231||December 8, 2018||2||0:41||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||19–6||Eryk Anders||TKO (referee stoppage)||UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Anders||September 22, 2018||3||5:00||São Paulo, Brazil||Light Heavyweight debut. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||18–6||Kevin Holland||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 227||August 4, 2018||3||5:00||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Loss||17–6||David Branch||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Barboza vs. Lee||April 21, 2018||1||2:30||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||17–5||Anthony Smith||TKO (body kick and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Anders||February 3, 2018||2||1:03||Belém, Brazil||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||16–5||Jack Hermansson||TKO (body kick and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida||October 28, 2017||1||4:59||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Win||15–5||Gerald Meerschaert||TKO (punches)||UFC 213||July 8, 2017||2||2:04||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||14–5||Jack Marshman||TKO (spinning wheel kick and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Browne||February 19, 2017||2||2:21||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada||Performance of the Night.|
|Loss||13–5||Eric Spicely||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC Fight Night: Cyborg vs. Lansberg||September 24, 2016||1||2:58||Brasília, Brazil|
|Loss||13–4||Gegard Mousasi||KO (punches)||UFC 200||July 9, 2016||1||4:32||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||13–3||Nate Marquardt||KO (punches)||UFC 198||May 14, 2016||1||3:39||Curitiba, Brazil|
|Win||12–3||Elias Theodorou||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Namajunas vs. VanZant||December 10, 2015||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||11–3||Steve Bossé||KO (head kick)||UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Romero||June 27, 2015||1||0:29||Hollywood, Florida, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||10–3||Andy Enz||TKO (body kick and punches)||UFC 183||January 31, 2015||1||1:56||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||9–3||Uriah Hall||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 175||July 5, 2014||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||9–2||Ronny Markes||TKO (body kick and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Henderson 2||March 23, 2014||1||0:53||Natal, Brazil|
|Loss||8–2||Cezar Ferreira||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 163||August 3, 2013||1||0:47||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||8–1||Denis Figueira||TKO (head kick and punches)||Watch Out Combat Show 20||July 27, 2012||1||N/A||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Loss||7–1||Vicente Luque||TKO (punches)||Spartan MMA 2012||April 28, 2012||1||4:50||São Luís, Brazil|
|Win||7–0||Junior Vidal||TKO (punches)||Watch Out Combat Show 18||March 3, 2012||1||N/A||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||6–0||Eneas Souza||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Watch Out Combat Show 17||December 27, 2011||3||2:50||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||5–0||Marcos Viggiani||Decision (unanimous)||Spartan MMA 2011||November 26, 2011||3||5:00||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||4–0||Rafael Braga||TKO (punches)||Explosion Fight||August 13, 2011||1||N/A||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||3–0||Mauricio Chueke||Decision (unanimous)||Watch Out Combat Show 14||July 23, 2011||3||5:00||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||2–0||Gabriel Barreiro||TKO (retirement)||Senna Fight||April 16, 2011||2||1:53||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||1–0||Guilherme Benedito||Decision (unanimous)||Watch Out Combat Show 10||October 10, 2010||3||5:00||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Exhibition record breakdown|
|4 matches||2 wins||2 losses|
|Loss||2–2||Leonardo Santos||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2||N/A (airdate)||2||5:00||São Paulo, Brazil||Quarter-finals bout.|
|Win||2–1||Pedro Iriê||Decision (unanimous)||N/A (airdate)||2||5:00||Wild card bout.|
|Loss||1–1||William Macário||Decision (unanimous)||N/A (airdate)||2||5:00||Preliminary bout.|
|Win||1–0||Gil Freitas||Decision (majority)||March 17, 2013 (airdate)||2||5:00||TUF: Brazil 2 house entry bout.|
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- "Thiago 'Marreta' Santos vs. Eric Spiceley heads to UFC Fight Night 95 in Brasilia". mmajunkie.com. 2016-08-14. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
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- "Gerald Meerschaert meets Thiago 'Marreta' Santos at UFC 213 in Las Vegas". mmajunkie. 2017-05-03. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
- "UFC 213 results: Thiago 'Marreta' Santos pounds out Gerald Meerschaert, calls out Gegard Mousasi". MMAjunkie. 2017-07-09. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
- "Thiago 'Marreta' Santos meets Polish veteran Michal Materla at UFC Gdansk". mmajunkie.com. 2017-08-29. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
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- "UFC Fight Night 125 results: Thiago 'Marreta' Santos liver kick shuts down gritty Anthony Smith in thriller". MMAjunkie. 2018-02-04. Retrieved 2018-02-04.
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- "Thiago Santos to fight David Branch at UFC Atlantic City". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
- "UFC Fight Night 128 results: David Branch gets big KO win over Thiago 'Marreta' Santos". MMAjunkie. 2018-04-22. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
- Staff (2018-07-24). "DWCS 9 winner Kevin Holland gets call, meets Thiago 'Marreta' Santos at UFC 227". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- "UFC 227 results: Thiago 'Marreta' Santos downs creative newcomer Kevin Holland". MMAjunkie. 2018-08-05. Retrieved 2018-08-05.
- Clyde Aidoo (2018-08-21). "Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Santos Official for Sao Paulo • MMA News". MMA News. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
- "Jimi Manuwa injured, Eryk Anders steps in to face Thiago Santos in UFC Sao Paulo headliner". themaclife.com. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
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- "UFC Fight Night 137 bonuses: Charles Oliveira's submission record comes with extra cash". MMAjunkie. 2018-09-23. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
- "Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago 'Marreta' Santos, Eryk Anders vs. Elias Theodorou added to UFC 231". MMAjunkie. 2018-10-02. Retrieved 2018-10-02.
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- "UFC Prague results: Thiago 'Marreta' Santos patient, then vicious, stops Jan Blachowicz in third". MMAjunkie. 2019-02-23. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
- "UFC Prague bonuses: Stefan Struve's potential swan song among $50,000 awards". MMAjunkie. 2019-02-23. Retrieved 2019-02-24.
- Brett Okamoto (2019-03-27). "Jones-Santos to headline UFC 239". espn.com. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
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- Sherdog.com. "MRI Reveals Multiple Torn Ligaments in Thiago Santos' Left Knee After UFC 239 Bout". Sherdog. Retrieved 2020-02-20.
- ESPN.com. "One of the knees was a certain thing," Santos said. "Then my doctor looked at my right knee and it turns out I will need a meniscus surgery on it, as well". ESPN. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
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