FORTALEZA, Brazil – “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2? winner Leonardo Santos‘ (12-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) days at welterweight may be numbered.
The grappling ace and longtime MMA veteran has competing at or around 155 pounds for most of his professional career, and if the UFC allows it, he’ll likely be moving back there very soon.
“That is a question that I’m going to have to talk to my camp and to see what they find the best for me,” Santos said through an interpretor at Saturday’s UFC on FUEL TV 10 post-event press conference at Paulo Sarasate Arena in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil. “I like this class because I don’t need to be hungry to get my weight. It was very easy to make weight. But we need to think about the future, what’s going to be best.”
Santos moved up to 170 pounds for the chance to compete on “TUF: Brazil 2.” While he made it all the way to the semifinals of the season’s 16-man tournament, he lost by unanimous decision in a thrilling three-round contest with Santiago Ponzinibbio. However, Ponzinibbio suffered an arm injury in the fight that required surgery and did not heal in time, and Santos was brought in as a replacement opponent for finalist William Macario.
Santos made good on the second chance, submitting Macario in the second round of Saturday’s live tournament finale.
At 6-feet tall, Silva wouldn’t necessarily be completely outsized in the UFC’s welterweight division, but his lean frame is probably best suited for the lightweight class. Santos agreed it was probably the right move, but he said he’ll wait to talk to his team at Nova Uniao, as well as UFC officials.
And while he thinks a return to lightweight makes the most sense, if the UFC wants him to stay at 170 pounds, he’ll just enjoy a few extra servings of dinner during training camp.
“I’m going to talk to my coaches, and they’re going to talk to the UFC and see what is best,” Santos said. “If they allow me to go down, I probably will go down, but if I have to fight here, I just get to eat a little bit more.”
For complete coverage of UFC on FUEL TV 10, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.