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Tiago dos Santos enters the UFC after first high-level camp

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Tiago dos Santos is the latest Jungle Fight champion to join the UFC, and he has a pretty good reason to believe he’s there to stay.

Born in Laranjal do Jari, a small town in Amapa, Brazil, "Trator" never had the perfect gym to train for high-level opponents, but that didn’t stop him from going 7-0 at Jungle Fight, winning and defending the 155-pound title.

"I went 7-0 at Jungle Fight and won the lightweight championship training with no structure at all in Amapa. I’m confident that I will do well in the UFC because now I have a great team behind me and I evolved a lot," dos Santos told

"I’m a new fighter now. It’s the same aggressiveness, but a whole new fighter. It was the best decision to leave Amapa to train at one of the best gyms in the world, so I will do my best to win.

"After a long career at Jungle Fight, it’s finally time to make my UFC debut," he continued. "I’m confident and well-trained for this fight. I’m sure that I will be able to do everything I trained during this two-month camp at Team Nogueira for my UFC debut. It’s going to be a great fight."

"Trator" meets the fellow UFC newcomer Akbarh Arreola at UFC on FOX 12 in San Jose, Calif., on July 26. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, dos Santos’ teammate in Rio de Janeiro, will also compete on the card against heavy-hitter Anthony Johnson, and that helped the lightweight newcomer.

"Rogerio helped me a lot every day, teaching grappling techniques and talking to me about how is it like to fight in the UFC," he said. "It was really helpful. He taught me a lot, do I’m really confident that everything will go perfect."

With seven finishes on his current nine-fight win streak, dos Santos expects plans to stop Arreola on Saturday night, and is confident that "Minotouro" will do the same against "Rumble" Johnson.

"I want to knock him out, and I’m going for the knockout," he said. "I don’t underestimate my opponent, I know he’s a well-rounded fighter who deserves to be in the UFC, but I want to knock him out. And Rogerio will surprise the world once again. He trained a lot for this fight, and I’m sure that it’s going to be a great night for Team Nogueira."

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