MMA fighting

Taila Santos opts against surgery after UFC 275 loss to Valentina Shevchenko

UFC flyweight contender Taila Santos won’t go under the knife after all, her manager Tiago Okamura told MMA Fighting.

Santos fractured his orbital bone under his right eye after facing UFC queen Valentina Shevchenko in the third round of their title fight at UFC 275 in Singapore in June, and was advised by doctors in Singapore to undergo surgery before returning to Brazil.

Santos decided to return to his home country and have the procedure performed in Brazil, but further tests by his doctors and specialists prompted Santos to forgo the surgery.

According to Okamura, Santos is “already doing well and training for the next challenge”.

“Once we were here [in Brazil]”, said the director, “[Santos] consulted specialists who brought us more information about the procedure and the possible consequences for her in competition, either doing the surgery or letting the fracture heal without surgery. The specialist left her under observation for two weeks, and after this period, he advised us not to do the operation.

Santos was top on the scorecards for two of the three judges entering the championship rounds, after an accidental clash of heads, and lost both rounds four and five in all scorecards. In the end, Shevchenko was declared the winner by split decision (48-47, 49-46, 47-48).

It remains unclear when Santos will be allowed back into the cage, and whether or not the UFC will give the Brazilian an immediate shot at the belt upon her return.

Talk with the MMA Fighting Podcast Trocação Franca days after the setback, Santos said: “I was expecting [Bruce Buffer to announce] my name. Deep in my heart, I expected to hear “Taila Santos”, but that’s not the name he said.

“I think that [I won] until round three, when my eye was still OK, but I still managed to knock her down on round four,” Santos said. “I ended up getting knocked out in the last round, but I took her down in four rounds. I think the first [three rounds] were mine.