Leonardo Santos


Loses to Grant Dawson
March 20, 2021
Santos lost to Grant Dawson via KO (punches) at 4:59 in Round 3 at UFC Vegas 22 on Saturday.
In Round 1, Santos proved to be the better striker with his superior technique, countering ability and power. Dawson had some success controlling Santos against the fence but didn't inflict as much damage as Santos. During a very closely contested second round, Santos is noticeably tired. In Round 3, Dawson earned a lot of top control time as Santos was fatigued. Towards the end of the round, Santos reclaimed full guard and went for a heel hook which left himself open to ground and pound. During the ground and pound sequence, Dawson knocked Santos out cold. The fight was very competitive as both combatants pushed one another for 15 minutes, but it was the cardio and top control of Dawson that prevailed.
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Next bout scheduled
January 20, 2021
Santos is in line to face Grant Dawson on the March 20 card, MMAJunkie.com reports.
After a 1-0-1 start to his UFC career, Santos has reeled off six straight wins in the octagon, most recently getting the better of Roman Bogatov. He'll aim to keep that streak alive against an opponent in Dawson who has started off his UFC career with five straight victories. Santos holds two-inch height and three-inch reach advantages over his opposition, which he will likely aim to use to keep his opponent from successfully taking him to the mat.
Remains unbeaten in UFC
July 11, 2020
Santos defeated Roman Bogatov via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-26, 29-26) at UFC 251 on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
Santos didn't win so much as survive. It started off well for the Brazilian. He appeared to be cruising to a unanimous decision in the later stages of Round 2 when things nearly fell apart. Santos smashed Bogatov with multiple massive shots but was unable to get the finish and emptied his gas tank in the process. Santos was in rough shape throughout Round 3, and that was before Bogatov crushed him with a pair of low blows and an illegal knee. Referee Marc Goddard (correctly) docked Bogatov two points for the knee strike and Santos was home free from there. Santos has been with the UFC for more than seven years but has fought just eight times during that span. He's undefeated (7-0-1) with the company, but Santos turned 40 years old this past February, and time is clearly not on his side. The UFC should considering pushing Santos against a quality opponent his next time out. There's nothing to lose at this point.
To fight Roman Bogatov at UFC 251
June 13, 2020
Santos (ribs) will fight against Roman Bogatov in Abu Dhabi at UFC 251, MMAFighting.com reports.
Santos is 17-3 as a professional, with his most recent fight being a victory over Steven Ray at UFC Fight Night 153 during June of last year. Of Santos' 17 wins, nine of them have been by submission, four have been by decision, three have been by KO/TKO and one has been classified as "other". Bogatov is 10-0 as a pro, with his most recent victory occurring August of last year against Mickael Lebout at M-1 Challenge 104. Five of his victories have been by submission, three by decision, one by KO/TKO and one other.
Cleared to train
December 5, 2019
Santos (ribs) was cleared to train and is targeting a return in early 2020, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
Santos revealed that he was sidelined for a month as a result of a rib injury sustained in his win over Stevie Ray via KO (punch) at UFC Stockholm in June. However, the 39-year-old says that he is now fully healthy and hopes to return to the Octagon in early 2020. His win at UFC Stockholm marked the first time he fought since October of 2016, but he showed that he can still be dominant against Ray. Santos carries a 17-3-1 record over his professional career.
Drops jaws with one-shot knockout
June 1, 2019
Santos defeated Stevie Ray via KO (punch) at 2:17 of Round 1 at UFC Fight Night 153 in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday.
Santos was holding range with kicks to the body early in Round 1, which may have left Ray desperate to get inside on his longer opponent. It only took one instance of Ray overextending on a punch for Santos to slide back and land a thunderous counter that crumpled the Scottish fighter in the middle of the cage. Santos was coming off a three-year layoff since getting a split-decision victory against Adriano Martins in 2016 but announced his return with authority Saturday. He improves to 17-3-1 in professional MMA as a result of the victory.