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At 41 years of age with a career often derailed by injury, Leonardo Santos once more has to withdraw from an upcoming appearance.
On Monday, Santos (18-4-1) posted on Instagram that his fight would likely be postponed for undetermined reasons. Sherdog has learned from sources close to the situation on Thursday that Santos has been forced out of the matchup against Alexander Hernandez (12-4) due to a calf injury. Per a subsequent promotional release, it does not appear that Hernandez will receive a new opponent at UFC Fight Night 193 on Oct. 2, and it is unclear if the matchup will be preserved for a later date. The two lightweights were booked against one another at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Santos was aiming to bounce back from his first knockout defeat in nearly 15 years when he succumbed to a literal last-second knockout at the hands of Grant Dawson in March. The defeat put an emphatic end to 13-fight unbeaten streak that had seen the 41-year-old defeat the likes of Kevin Lee and Anthony Rocco Martin on the way up. Inactivity plagued the Brazilian over the years, averaging just over one fight per year since emerging from the second season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” in 2013.
“The Great” too looked to rebound from a loss, as Thiago Moises beat him on the scorecards in February. The one-time Legacy Fighting Alliance victor has alternated wins and losses in his last six bouts, with wins over Chris Gruetzemacher, Francisco Trinaldo and Olivier Aubin-Mercier in that span. On the other hand, the Factory X export has suffered knockouts at the hands of Donald Cerrone and Drew Dober.
UFC Fight Night 193 takes place on Oct. 2 in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex, and light heavyweights will toe the line in the main event when Thiago Santos squares off against Johnny Walker. The co-headliner sees a potential bantamweight title eliminator when Aspen Ladd takes on Macy Chiasson. Other key matchups on the billing include a middleweight encounter between Kevin Holland and Kyle Daukaus, as well as a welterweight banger between Alex Oliveira and Niko Price.