Six months after Michael Venom Page's flying knee fractured his skull, Evangelista Santos retires
After two decades in the game, Evangelista Santos has called time on his MMA career.
The Brazilian veteran competed in a half a century of MMA contests ending his professional career with 32 wins and 18 lossess. He competed for some of the biggest promotions in the sport, including Strikeforce, Pancrase and Bellator, where he finished up.
Santos confirmed to MMA Fighting that he would not be competing again as a professional mixed martial artist, despite announcing relatively recently that he had hoped to get at least 10 more fights under his belt. He fought some marquee names over the course of his career including Nick Diaz for the Strikeforce welterweight belt, Shogun Rua, Melvin Manhoef, Gegard Mousasi and Francis Carmont.
"I want to be remembered as someone who dedicated his life to the sport he loves and always gave his best, and never picked opponents.”
He last fought in July 2016, losing via flying knee knockout to Michael 'Venom' Page at Bellator 158 in London. The vicious strike fractured his skull, a horrific injury which required surgery. Although he hasn't felt any ill effects after going under the knife, Santos wanted to hang up his gloves to reduce the risks of getting hurt again.
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Wow! I haven't seen an injury quite like this before: Evangelista Cyborg Santos suffered a very serious fracture of the forehead in last night's fight on the Bellator show in London at the O2 Arena against Michael Venum Page. The knee fractured Santos' skull which racked above the right eye in one of the most gruesome injuries you'll see. Jimmy Smith said that one of the EMTs told him they'd only seen an injury like that in a severe car crash. Cris Cyborg asked fans to say a prayer for her ex-husband. He's hospitalized in the UK and may not be able to fly for a while. He hasn't had the surgery and they are afraid of possiible complications #evangelistacyborgsantos #bellator #mma #skullfracture
Although he won't be slugging it out inside the cage anymore, Santos won't be leaving the sport. He will focus on running Chute Boxe’s gym, heading up the Minas Gerais’ muay thai federation and coaching prospects in retirment.
“I want to thank Scott Coker and all employees from Bellator, who always cared about me and respected me and my work. I want to thank Chute Boxe and everyone who believed in me; my family, my friends and coaches. I don’t regret anything I’ve done or hasn’t done. I want to do my best as a coach now."