Jorge Santiago’s return to the Octagon this year was not the triumphant one he had hoped for.
The 30-year-old faced off against “All-American” Brian Stann at UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill this past March and ended his night facedown, the victim of a barrage of punches that left him unconscious. Though his performance was enough to net him a Fight of the Night bonus (though Stann had quite a bit to do with that also), it wasn’t one that generated great confidence in the former Sengoku champion’s chances at making a splash in the UFC.
As such, the Brazilian will be looking to say something in his next bout, which comes against submission wizard and fellow Brazilian Demian Maia this October at UFC 136. Maia, who’s striking has improved leaps and bounds to go along with his lethal ground game, will be no short order for Santiago, but “The Sandman” recently told Tatame.com that he’s confident in his skills against Maia — even in his submissions.
“He has an excellent ground game. I’ve watched his fights for a long time, he has a good ground game, but mine ain’t any worse,” said Santiago. “I still haven’t had the chance to show it in MMA, but I can fight him on the floor. My ground game is focused in MMA, I don’t only work on the guard, use it to sweep… If you are not careful, I’ll get you and you’ll tap out.”
When asked if he were nervous to get a taste of Maia’s lauded submission arsenal, Santiago replied frankly that he is not and that Maia should take care to stay sharp or he may end up getting submitted himself.
“No…,” he said in reply. “If he makes a mistake, I’ll submit him.”
UFC 136 takes place October 8 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.