Mixed martial arts fighter Thiago Santos says better compensation was part of his reasons to quit UFC for the FPL.
Speaking on the latest episode of MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca, “Marreta” called his decision to leave the UFC a “combination of many factors,” which including better pay and to a chance to “breathe new air.”
“It was also the right moment, at this stage of my career, to try something different,” Santos said. “I won’t be a hypocrite, of course that I want the $1 million [prize].
“Of course I want money to make my nest egg. I don’t want to wait until it’s too late [in my career], like almost retiring, to fight one last fight and try a lot of money.
“No, I really want to fight. I know I still can do great things in MMA, I still have a few more years of fighting. The moment had to be now. New opportunities, better purse. Everything made me opt for the change.”
Santos declined to disclose how much he’s set to make in the PFL, but said “the purse is financially better for me than [what I had in the] UFC.”
The American Top Team light heavyweight could pocket an extra $1 million as well if he wins the 2023 playoffs, and said “I haven’t done the math, but I’m sure that would be more than I made all these years in the UFC.”
“I still had one more fight [in my contract] but my manager Alex [Davis] was already in conversations with the PFL for a while,” said the Brazilian, who lost to Magomed Ankalaev and Jamahal Hill in his final octagon appearances in 2022.
“They had reached out asking how many fights I had left and when my contract would end, and they came with an offer. My manager asked me if he could advance the talks, I talked to my wife and we decided to continue [the discussion with PFL]. He spoke with the UFC and the UFC was very kind and correct with us, we dealt with everything in a friendly manner and got the release.”