The bout was a rematch of their November Sengoku 11 fight, when Khalidov earned a shocking first-round TKO victory, needing just 1:45 to beat the Sengoku middleweight champ.
This time it was a methodical five-round decision for Santiago, who wore Khalidov down, badly cut his face, and showed more strength and endurance at the end. Santiago won the fight 48-47 on one judge's card and 49-47 on another. The win re-establishes Santiago as the promotion's best middleweight, but give Khalidov credit for beating Santiago once and giving him a tough fight a second time.
Other Sengoku 12 results:
Shigeki Osawa beat Kyung Ho Kang by unanimous decision
Leonardo Santos beat Kiuma Kunioku by first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
Yuji Hoshino beat Nick Denis by second-round submission (guillotine)
Yoshihiro Nakao beat Henry Miller by second-round TKO (punches)
Marlon Sandro beat Tomonari Kanomata by first-round knockout (punch)
Maximo Blanco beat Chang Hyun Kim by first-round knockout (kick)
Akihiro Gono beat Diego Gonzalez by unanimous decision
Sengoku 12 will air Friday on HDNet.