Thiago Santos sustained serious ligament damage during UFC 239 bout against Jon Jones

UFC 239 Jones v  Santos

A split-decision was all that separated these passionate yet ruthless fighters as Jon 'Bones' Jones managed to defend his light-heavyweight title against Thiago Santos at UFC 239.

However, Santos put up quite the fight against the reigning champion as the Brazilian sustained a torn ACL, MCL, PCL and meniscus in his left knee.

Jones' opponent sustained significant damage to his knee at the tail-end of the first round, but managed to perserve for the duration of the fight. 

Following the bout, Santos said: "I left everything in there, even after injuring my knee in the first round."

He later added: "I fought four rounds on a southpaw stance, unable to move like I usually move, unable to throw the strikes I usually throw. I didn't shock the world because of those circumstances, but I did what I could do in those conditions and I'm satisfied."

As mentioned previously, Jones managed to secure victory via a split-decision against a Santos who had to keep an injured knee in the back of his mind.

Whilst protecting his weak area, Santos was unable to fight in his traditional style, which may have hindered the outcome of this bout, according to fans anyway. 

Santos' trainer Tata Duarte discussed his knee injury following the fight and what could have been if he never sustained such a critical blow.

"If that knee hadn't stopped him, Jon Jones would have gone down, no doubt," he said. 

UFC 239 Jones v  Santos

"Our game plan was all set, 'Marreta' was seeing everything. And after he started hurting Jon Jones' legs he began to lose mobility, it was too easy to put him out, man, but we counted on switching stances to get it done."

Duarte later added: "But I'll say this: our goal was accomplished. He shocked the world.

"This guy's life story, man, he comes out huge after this fight. He knows he's a complete fighter, he knows he can do five rounds with anyone.

"He did five rounds with someone that people say is invincible, the best of all time, and did that on one knee. Imagine if he had both legs."

Considering the seriousness of Santos' injuries, the Brazilian will not likely be seen in the Octagon for another year. However, Jones admitted following the fight that he isn't searching for a rematch straight away, but would consider taking on the Brazilian some time in the future. 

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