At Bellator 158 in July, the MMA world experienced the most vomit-inducing moment of the year when British phenom Michael Page KO’d Brazilian legend Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos with a flying knee that literally shattered his skull. The injury was so gruesome that Bellator agreed to pay not only Santos’ medical bill, but give him his win bonus despite the fact that, you know, the closest he came to winning the fight was probably during a coma dream he had that night.
Despite suffering what most MMA fighters (except Tito Ortiz) would consider a career-ending injury, the 38-year-old veteran of nearly 40 fights was hesitant if not outright dismissive about the idea of hanging up his gloves for good, even going so far as to donate the $24,000 that was raised on his behalf through GoFundMe to charity. “He’s so funny because he says ‘I can fight in three months!’” said Cyborg’s ex-wife, fellow MMA fighter Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, when asked about Santos’ decision. “[I said] ‘No, man, you cannot fight in three months!’”
And Justino was right, stepping back into the cage just three months after having your skull obliterated would be a borderline suicidal thing to attempt. Which is why Santos is going to wait five months.
With his skull now super-glued and Scotch-taped back together, it appears that Cyborg has already started making the preparations to go through this vicious cycle all over again. In an interview with MMAFighting, Santos announced his plans to resume training next month and return to MMA in December. As in, December of this year December.
I had a great recovery. This time off was super important for me. I was so busy doing other stuff that I didn’t even notice how fast his month has passed. It was really uncomfortable three or four days after the surgery, but after that I pretty much rested and studied.
I plan on coming back to training next week and fighting in December. This is my plan. But before I make any decision, I will listen to what the doctors have to say. I have an appointment with the doctor next week to find out if he really clears me to train again, but I’m feeling super fine.
There’s really only one way to react to a statement as insane as this and I’m going to need Karl Urban’s help to do it.
For what it’s worth, Cyborg’s loss to Page made for the 12th TKO loss of his career and the fourth such loss he has suffered in his past seven fights. I’d say that it’s probably time for him to consider retirement, but clearly Santos is the kind of guy who doesn’t take kindly to suggestion. Instead, I’ll just offer his next opponent a little bit of insider info to use come fight night: aim for literally anywhere on the face and swing away.