Sengoku Middleweight Champion Jorge Santiago (23-8) recently re-signed with the UFC after a nearly five year absence from the promotion. The American Top Team stalwart is expected to face UFC middleweight Brian Stann at UFC 130 this May.
Santiago previously competed in the UFC in 2006. During his first run with the promotion, Santiago put together a 1-2 record, knocking out Justin Levens and then getting knocked out by Chris Leben and Alan Belcher before parting ways with the promotion.
“I had a great experience in Japan, but I am now really excited to fight again in the UFC and conquer more fighters in the U.S.,” Santiago said.
During his absence, he remade himself and matured as a fighter, building an 11-1 record over the last four years. Santiago entered the one-night Strikeforce middleweight tournament, besting Sean Salmon and Trevor Prangley en route to winning the entire tournament. From there, he went overseas and entered Sengoku, where he became a fan favorite star, while also becoming Sengoku’s first Middleweight Grand Prix Champion and 183-pound champion. He only lost one bout in his twelve post-UFC bouts, a TKO defeat to Mamed Kalidov which he immediately avenged. He has posted recent victories over Jeremy Horn, Siyar Bahadurzada, Kazuhiro Nakamura, Kalidov and Kazuo Misaki.
“Jorge Santiago is exciting to watch, and a real fan favorite wherever he has performed,” commented Authentic Sports Management Partner, Glenn Robinson. “He was missed by the UFC fans here in the U.S, and everyone is energized to see Jorge back and winning again in America.”
UFC 130: Edgar vs. Maynard 3 is expected to take place this May 28th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and will feature the lightweight title fight rubber match between champ Frankie Edgar and challenger Gray Maynard.
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.