Thiago Santos' camp insists their fighter did not dodge a bullet.
Despite some rumblings that suggested Santos (10-1 MMA, 2-0 BFC) was not going to make weight for a planned Bellator 61 meeting with Eric Prindle (7-1 MMA, 3-0 BFC), "Big Monster" insists he was well on his way to 265 pounds before his opponent was pulled from the bout.
"Thiago was actively cutting weight when I called him to inform him of the cancelation of the fight," Santos' manager, Josef Borges, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
). "It was 1 p.m., and he was only three kilograms (6.6 pounds) away from making weight. Making weight would not have been a problem for Thiago."
Santos and Prindle were expected to meet in the main event of today's Bellator 61 event, but "flu-like symptoms" forced Prindle out of the bout. But after Prindle withdrew, there were a few reports that suggested Santos, who walks around at more than 300 pounds, was lucky he wasn't forced to step on the scale.
Borges insists that's bad intel.
"(Bellator matchmaker) Sam Caplan asked me to call him at 1 p.m. (on Thursday)," Borges said. "He said that Eric fell ill due to dehydration and that he caught a flu – that he presented medical proof to the commission stating that he was in no condition to fight. Bellator then suggested moving the fight to next week, and they asked me if Thiago would agree. So I called Thiago at the hotel and he was in the hot tub losing the last 3 kilograms when I gave him the news. He became angry because he had already lost 14 kilograms (30.9 pounds), but he accepted the fight next week without a problem."
Prindle and Santos, of course, met in the finals of Bellator's season-five heavyweight tourney this past fall, but the bout was ruled a no-contest when Santos inexplicably kicked a downed Prindle in the groin. "Big Monster" contended he was targeting Prindle's backside, but his opponent could not continue after the blow. The rematch has now been pushed back a week to Bellator 62.
The winner of the fight is expected to face Bellator heavyweight champ Cole Konrad in a title fight later this year.
Santos, who openly questioned Prindle's willingness to fight following their first encounter, makes no such claim this time around. Nevertheless, he said he's looking forward to the rescheduled rematch.
"Thiago sees no problem in fighting next week and wishes Eric a speedy recovery," Borges said. "We are thankful to Bellator and promise the fans a great battle next week."