Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos is headed to the PFL.
Santos (22-11 MMA, 14-10 UFC) recently signed a multifight deal with the PFL, ending a 10-year, 24-fight stint with the promotion. Santos will compete in the 2023 PFL light heavyweight season.
MMA Junkie confirmed the signing with a person with knowledge of the situation after an initial report by ESPN.
Santos is the second UFC competitor to make the jump to the PFL in recent weeks In August, featherweight contender Shane Burgos joined the PFL after his UFC contract expired — a company mistake, according to Dana White.
“It was an amicable parting with the UFC,” Santos’ manager Alex Davis told ESPN. “Thiago is very grateful for everything the UFC has done for him, and he is very grateful to the PFL for signing him. He is looking forward to winning a million dollars.”
Santos, 38, leaves the UFC with five losses in his last six fights. He has headlined numerous UFC events since his debut in 2013, most notably a light heavyweight title challenge at UFC 239 in July 2016 when he lost a split decision to then-champion Jon Jones.
Notable UFC wins include Jan Blachowicz, Kevin Holland, Jake Hermanson, Johnnie Walker, Jimmy Manuwa, Nate Marquardt and Anthony Smith. He most recently competed in August when he lost a fourth-round knockout to Jamhal Hill in a back-and-forth slugfest.
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