In a brilliant maneuver to bolster their middleweight division, the UFC has inked Jorge Santiago to a multi-bout contract to fight exclusively inside of an Octagon.
UFC president Dana White confirmed Santiago’s new place of employment with Bo Okamoto of ESPN late Friday afternoon.
Although Santiago owns an imposing 23-8 professional record, with 21 of his wins coming of the devastating finish variety, his skills are somewhat unknown to fight fans in America. He shouldn’t feel too badly about his Invisible Man status. The last time the UFC inked a 185-pound Brazilian of his caliber was when Anderson Silva emerged on the Octagon scene.
Fast forward five years and “The Spider” is unequivocally the baddest beast the division has ever showcased. (Please see: Vitor Belfort’s face)
Because Santiago has been spotted at multiple “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva” pre-fight events this week, and has competed for the San Jose, California based promotion in the past, the rumor mill was buzzing with a potential Strikeforce partnership. However, it appears his trip to New Jersey was strictly to support fellow American Top Teamer Antonio Silva in his fight with Fedor Emelianenko.
No word on when Santiago will break in his freshly penned contract. He was last seen posting a TKO win over Kazuo Misaki at “Sengoku Raiden Championship 14″ last August.