In his 24 octagon appearances for the UFC, Thiago Santos learned a valuable lesson in his final bout, which was against Jamahal Hill in August. Despite being known for his striking skills, Santos attempted to take Hill down 20 times during the bout, rather than sticking to his roots. This change in his game plan left him feeling tired and disillusioned. However, as he prepares to make his PFL debut against Rob Wilkinson this weekend, Santos has made a promise to himself to return to the techniques that made him successful in the past.
While Santos has added other martial arts to his repertoire, such as jiu-jitsu and wrestling, he acknowledges that he cannot change his origins. He is, first and foremost, a striker. However, this does not mean that he is unprepared for any surprises Wilkinson may have in store for him. Wilkinson, with his 17-2 record, is a force to be reckoned with, and Santos expects him to try to take the fight to the ground.
Despite this, it is clear that Santos has his sights set firmly on victory. He knows that he will need to fight at least three times in order to win the PFL title and earn the million-dollar prize that comes with it. To ensure he is up to the challenge, Santos has changed up his training routine, focusing more on quality rather than quantity. He is aware of his age and his history of injuries, so he is taking care to avoid any further damage during training.