Leonardo Santos quietly has put together a solid resume in the UFC’s stacked lightweight division.
Inactivity has been his biggest enemy. But after a layoff of nearly three years, Santos (17-3-1 MMA, 6-0-1 UFC) looked like he didn’t skip a beat with a first-round knockout over Steven Ray at UFC on ESPN+ 11 this past June.
He’s been ready and eager to return to action since the end of 2019, but hasn’t been offered a fight yet.
With the global coronavirus pandemic putting the MMA world at a standstill, Santos isn’t quite sure when he’ll fight next – but he said he’s ready.
“Man – now it’s hard to do a plan,” Santos told MMA Junkie. “I hope this finishes soon and I can fight as soon as possible. This question about it taking so long – you need to ask the UFC. I started asking for a fight in December and I’m still waiting for it.”
A training partner of former UFC featherweight king Jose Aldo at Brazil’s famed Nova Uniao gym, Santos said the gym has taken an initiative to ensure the more than 230 affiliate gyms across the globe don’t suffer.
“The gym is closed for all – nobody is training,” Santos said. “It’s not about the gym, but we have many affiliations and they pay the royalties to us. But the COVID-19 shut down all the academies, and we gave April to all the affiliations free. Let’s see how it will work for the next months.
“(There’s) no charging royalty fees to all the Nova Uniao affiliate gyms. We don’t know if we will open in April. Let’s se what happens in the future.”
It’s been more than a decade since Santos, who’s undefeated in the UFC, has lost. He holds finishes over the likes of Kevin Lee and Anthony Rocco Martin on his resume while he aims for the lightweight rankings.
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/03/leonardo-santos-ufc-update-nova-uniao-brazil-handling-coronavirus/