It was easy to see on Saturday night at UFC 239 that something was wrong with Thiago Santos’ left knee during his fight with Jon Jones, but no one realized quite how bad the damage was.
MRI results have now revealed that Santos was suffering from a torn ACL, MCL, PCL as well as a torn meniscus, which makes it all the more remarkable that he was able to fight on for the full five rounds and take the dominant champion to a split decision on the night.
“No complaints and no dwelling on the past, I left it all in the octagon and did everything I could in the condition that I was in,” Santos wrote on Instagram as he revealed the news. “All glory to god and thank you all very much!”
The injury took place in the first round of the fight, with Santos’ leg clearly buckling after throwing a kick.
“The first round wasn’t anything Jon Jones did to me,” Santos said in is native Portugese following Saturday night’s fight in Las Vegas. “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.”
Prior to that Santos had been punishing Jones’ own legs with hard low kicks that was clearly taking a toll on him, but needless to say the knee damage hampered his ability to fight to the best of his ability.
“I managed to hurt him, I managed to kick him a lot, but our plan was to process when we started our attacks but we couldn’t really do that with the way my knee was. I wasn’t really managing to get my hands and put my strikes the way I wanted to.”
Nevertheless, Santos’ stock clearly went up as a result of his performance and toughness in the face of adversity on Saturday night, though sadly it could be at least 8 months if not more before he’s finally able to resume fighting after he undergoes surgery on his knee.