LAS VEGAS – Thiago Santos didn’t feel like himself in his past few fights, but that’s changed in the lead-up to UFC Fight Night 193.

Heading Saturday’s event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Santos (21-9 MMA, 13-8 UFC) revealed at a pre-fight news conference Wednesday he’s healthy and ready to go – unlike the stops on his current two-fight losing skid.

“It’s always hard to have losses but I’m not worried about that,” Santos told MMA Junkie. “I understand everything. I just came from a big injury so these two fights that I had it’s part of my recovery, you know? Now, I feel 100 percent. I’m sure I will be better than my last two fights.”

Santos, 37, underwent knee surgery to repair a torn ACL, PCL, and MCL in 2019. Since then, he hasn’t been quite right. Don’t believe him? Santos suggested doubters go back and watch the tapes.

“It’s not excuses, it’s just if you watch my fights again you can see that,” Santos said. “Against Glover (Teixeira), I didn’t kick. I think I threw one kick. Against (Alexander) Rakic, I kicked more. I moved better. I’m growing, you know? It’s progress. This fight will be so much better.”

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This time around, Santos battles exciting Brazilian striker Johnny Walker in a five-round main event. Santos doesn’t see the challenge in front of him as an easy one.

“Johnny Walker is a tough guy,” Santos said. “I understand that when the UFC offered this fight. I agreed. I didn’t refuse any fight, especially in this moment. I’m (coming) from losses. You can’t choose. I needed to go in there and prove I am one of the best. … He is a little bit crazy but he does good at what he does. He has some knockouts, you know, with fights. I’m prepared. I’m ready for that. I did my camp with (such) good sparring partners. They did (such a) good job in trying to copy him. I’m ready for every single thing that he can bring to me.”

UFC Fight Night 193 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The main card streams on ESPN+ after prelims on ESPN+.


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