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With surgery scheduled for Monday, ‘Cyborg’ Santos plans to help kids with donations


Evangelista Santos returned to the United States on Tuesday night, and is ready to go under the knife.

The longtime MMA veteran suffered a brutal injury during his welterweight clash with Michael Page at Bellator 158, fracturing his skull after MVP connected a flying knee. Back to the United States, "Cyborg" immediately visited his doctor.

"I did another MRI on Wednesday and visited the doctor again on Friday," Santos told MMA Fighting, "and he scheduled the surgery for Monday."

According to Santos, doctors won't set any timetables for a potential return before the surgery.

Bellator is paying for all medical costs, so "Cyborg" decided to fulfill a dream with the money donated through a GoFundMe campaign created by his ex-wife, Cris "Cyborg" Justino.

"When I was 11, I started working as a shoeshine boy to help support my family," Santos said. "Six brothers, my family worked in the field and my mother was a maid. I got to school at 11 a.m. and stayed in the streets until 10 p.m. That was when my life changed completely. I started going to an institution called Casa do Menor Trabalhador in Rondonopolis, which was supported my local businessman and nuns. They had a library, foosball table, soccer balls, and prayers.

"Ever since I was a kid, I always had this wish in my heart to repay the security and direction this project gave me because I’m a product of their work, and I want to use this money that was raised to start this big dream. I want to offer fighting (classes), literature, English classes, and prepare our fighting champions for life, teach them to use all their potential – intellectual, physical and technical."

MMA fighters and fans donated more than $24,000 to the Bellator fighter, and "Cyborg" will be forever thankful.

"Bellator will pay for all my medical bills, paid my win bonus, so I don’t think it’s fair to use the money to benefit me," he said. "Even though I lost, I was blessed with everyone’s prayers and care from everyone in the fight world. May God bless every single person that gave me a positive thought, a pray, a dollar. May God bless you. Everything you do, may this bless reach your family. May God also bless Cris’ life, who was shocked with those images. Thank you for your friendship and concern."

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