UFC flyweight contender Taila Santos will not go under the knife after all, her manager Tiago Okamura told MMA Fighting.
Santos fractured her orbital bone under the right eye after clashing heads with UFC queen Valentina Shevchenko in the third round of their title bout at UFC 275 in Singapore back in June, and was advised by doctors in Singapore to undergo surgery before returning to Brazil.
Santos decided to fly back to her home country and have the procedure done in Brazil, but further tests done by her doctors and specialists prompted Santos to decide against surgery.
According to Okamura, Santos is “already well and training for the next challenge.”
“Once we were here [in Brazil],” the manager said, “[Santos] consulted with specialists that brought us more information about the procedure and possible consequences for her in competition, either doing the surgery or letting the fracture heal without surgery. The specialist left her in observation for two weeks, and after that period he advised us not to do the surgery.”
Santos was ahead on the scorecards for two of the three judges going into championship rounds, after accidental clash of heads, and lost both rounds four and five in all scorecards. In the end, Shevchenko was declared the winner via split decision (48-47, 49-46, 47-48).
It’s still unclear when Santos will be cleared to re-enter the cage, and whether or not the UFC will give the Brazilian an immediate shot at the belt upon her return.
Speaking with MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca days after the setback, Santos said “I was waiting for [Bruce Buffer to announce] my name. Deep in my heart, I was expecting to hear ‘Taila Santos,’ but that’s not the name he said.”
“I think that [I won] up until the third round, when my eye was still OK, but I still managed to get her down in the fourth,” Santos said. “I ended up getting taken down in the last round, but took her down in four rounds. I think the first [three rounds] were mine.”