Don’t mess with Thiago Santos’ bath time.
Since suffering a catastrophic combination of knee injuries in his July 2019 title shot versus Jon Jones, it’s been tough sledding for “Marreta,” losing four of his five bouts that have followed. While no longer a Middleweight, Santos is now eying top contender, Paulo Costa, after a run-in when weight cutting.
“There was a situation with ‘Borrachinha’ in which I was cutting weight and he and his team got in and started jumping in the cold bathtub, which was next to the hot one I was in, having a party,” Santos told Nem Me Viu (h/t Sherdog). “They didn’t respect that moment of mine there. He even said later that I’m getting beat up by everyone. Since that’s how it is, why doesn’t he take advantage of it and come hit me too at UFC Rio de Janeiro?”
Santos’ hinting at a Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, showdown comes after of the promotion returning to the country for UFC 283 in Jan. 2023. Meanwhile, Costa has recently rebounded off a two-fight skid, defeating Luke Rockhold via unanimous decision in a wild UFC 278 co-main event last month (Aug. 20, 2022).
Prior to his last win, Costa made an unintentional appearance in the Light Heavyweight division against fellow Middleweight contender, Marvin Vettori. Coincidentally, Santos and Costa are alums of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): Brazil as Welterweight contestants. Santos competed in the second installment of the series, while Costa participated in the famous third season, featuring the Chael Sonnen-Wanderlei Silva rivalry.
Santos, 38, last fought in UFC Vegas 59’s main event, suffering a fourth round technical knockout loss to Jamahal Hill (watch highlights).