In 2016, the MMA veteran was on the wrong end of what will forever go down as one of the most disturbing losses in MMA history.
In the second round of his Bellator 158 scrap with Michael Page, Santos lunged in for a cross in an attempt to close the distance against Page. Page countered by launching a flying knee at ‘Cyborg’ which landed perfectly on his forehead, sending the MMA vet to the canvas.
Remarkably, Santos, who lay on the canvas holding his head, was not knocked out. Shortly following the fight however, it was revealed that he sustained a skull fracture that required emergency surgery. From the hospital, Santos explained that he planned on going through the surgery, recovering, and then making his return to the cage as soon as possible.
Now, just several weeks into 2017, the MMA vet has officially retired from MMA.
He spoke to MMAFighting to discuss the situation, and what changed between the injury and now, saying:
“I’M FEELING REALLY WELL, NEVER FELT ANYTHING (AFTER THE SURGERY), BUT I DON’T THINK I WILL FIGHT AGAIN,” SANTOS TOLD MMA FIGHTING. “I DON’T WANT TO RISK GETTING AN AFTEREFFECT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE AND DON’T BE ABLE TO PASS ON MY KNOWLEDGE, AND GIVE WORK TO MY FAMILY.”
“MY PLAN WAS TO FIGHT AGAIN THIS YEAR, AND FIGHT 10 MORE TIMES IN MMA, BUT NOT EVERYTHING GOES AS WE PLAN,” SANTOS SAID. “BUT I FEEL I’VE FOUGHT SOME OF THE BEST FIGHTERS IN THE WORLD, AND NOW I WILL HELP CREATE CHAMPIONS.
“I WANT TO THANK SCOTT COKER AND ALL EMPLOYEES FROM BELLATOR, WHO ALWAYS CARED ABOUT ME AND RESPECTED ME AND MY WORK,” HE ADDED. “I WANT TO THANK CHUTE BOXE AND EVERYONE WHO BELIEVED IN ME; MY FAMILY, MY FRIENDS AND COACHES. I DON’T REGRET ANYTHING I’VE DONE OR HASN’T DONE. I WANT TO DO MY BEST AS A COACH NOW.”“I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED AS SOMEONE WHO DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO THE SPORT HE LOVES AND ALWAYS GAVE HIS BEST, AND NEVER PICKED OPPONENTS.”