Jeff Curran returns from retirement, faces Iliarde Santos at Titan FC 28

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Five months have passed, and Jeff Curran is back from to MMA.

Curran, a former WEC title contender and UFC competitor, announced his retirement from MMA after a split decision loss to Pedro Munhoz at Resurrection Fighting Alliance 9 in August, but will return to the cage at Titan FC 28 on April 19, facing fellow UFC veteran Iliarde Santos.

Curran (34-16-1) went 0-2 in the UFC as a bantamweight, but he defeated Josh Killion in his flyweight debut in May. He returned to 135 to fight Munhoz for the RFA title, and cuts back to 125 to meet Santos.

Santos (27-9-1, 1 no-contest) entered the UFC after racking up six consecutive victories in Brazil, but was released from the promotion after three straight losses to Iuri Alcantara, Ian McCall and Chris Cariaso.

"I’m really happy that a door was opened after I left the UFC," Santos stated in a release. "Titan FC is an international organization that will give me the opportunity to fight outside of Brazil, which is a dream for most of the fighters. I will debut with the right foot and return to the wins."

Santos hasn’t had his hands raised after a fight since 2012, but is confident he’ll reach his true potential against Curran.

"I want to show the world the real Iliarde Santos," he said. "I want to bounce back (to the wins). I’ll do my best. I’ll make his debut against a well known guy, and it shows that they have great expectations on me."

Nineteen of Curran’s 34 professional victories came via submission, but the Brazilian bets on his hands to score his 13th knockout finish in MMA.

"I haven’t started watching his tapes yet, but it’s going to be an interesting match-up," Santos said. "I know he’s a veteran, has a lot of fights in his record and many qualities, and I know he wants to debut with a win. It will be a good fight. I like to (fight) standing, he likes fight on the ground. Fans will enjoy the fight."

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