Jorge Santiago Signs With UFC

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

By FCF Staff, photo courtesy American Top Team

As expected, it didn’t take long for Jorge Santiago to find a new home upon entering free agency, as today Authentic Sports Management announced that its client has signed a new deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. No terms of the multi-fight contract were released.

“I had a great experience in Japan, but I am now really excited to fight again in the UFC and conquer more fighters in the U.S.,” Santiago said.

Santiago (23-8) will be competing for a North American promotion for the first time since 2007, when he won Strikeforce’s middleweight grand-prix championship. Since then the 30 year-old, American Top Team fighter has gone 7-1 competing for World Victory Road’s Sengoku in Japan.

Santiago impressed during his time with the promotion, winning its middleweight title and scoring wins over Kazuo Miskaki (twice), Siyar Bahadurzada, and Mamed Khalidov. His only loss during that stretch came to Khalidov, who stopped Santiago in their first meeting at Sengoku 11 in November, 2009.

“Jorge Santiago is exciting to watch, and a real fan favorite wherever he has performed,” commented Authentic Sports Management Partner, Glenn Robinson. “He was missed by the UFC fans here in the U.S, and everyone is energized to see Jorge back and winning again in America.”

Santiago previously fought for the UFC in 2006, and after knocking out Justin Levens at Fight Night 5, he was KO’d by Chris Leben and Alan Belcher in back-to-back bouts later that year.

No details regarding when and who Santiago will fight in his UFC return were released.