Santiago made his way back to the UFC by going 11-1 which included winning the Sengoku middleweight title in Japan.
The Brazilian was expected to offer some real competition in the UFC’s middleweight division, which had been virtually cleaned out by champ Anderson Silva.
Unfortunately for Santiago, he was handed a very hungry Brian Stann in his first fight. The former American Marine would take it to ‘The Sandman’ in the second round of their UFC 130 bout, ending the fight by TKO.
Then Santiago was given former No. 1 contender Demian Maia for his second match. Both men met on the prelim card of UFC 136, with Maia showcasing his ground-and-pound for three rounds rather than his Jiu-Jitsu, winning the bout by unanimous decision.
Now Santiago has the choice of returning to Japan, with all of it’s bleak prospects for those who have been watching the decline of combat sports in that country, or possibly heading to Bellator and meeting middleweight champ Hector Lombard.
Time will tell I guess, as to where we’ll see ‘The Sandman’ end up next.