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Two Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters on a combined 20-fight unbeaten streak are coming to blows at lightweight in March.
On Wednesday, Grant Dawson (16-1) posted on Instagram that he had news of his new opponent, hinting that his prospective foe was unbeaten in the promotion. MMA Junkie revealed hours later that this opponent was Leonardo Santos (18-3-1), and that the two would be squaring off at 155 pounds at the UFC Fight Night card on March 20.
“Contract signed,” Dawson wrote. “He’s undefeated in the UFC. And his run is coming to an end. Fight News coming soon!”
Dawson fought twice in 2020, tapping out Darrick Minner in February and capturing a unanimous verdict over Nad Narimani a few months later. Getting signed off the first season of Dana White's Contender Series, “KGD” landed a submission on Adrian Diaz to earn a contract. The Glory MMA & Fitness fighter has won four times inside the Octagon, and he sports a finish rate of 87 percent with a majority of those stoppages by submission.
Santos has not suffered a loss since 2009, and since then, he has notched 12 victories and a draw along the way. Since his 2014 draw to Norman Parke, the Brazilian has only competed six times, but he has won all six. The 40-year-old out of Nova Uniao posts a first-round knockout win over Kevin Lee, and a second-round submission of Anthony Rocco Martin as well. His last appearance came in July 2020, when he took home a decision against then-undefeated Roman Bogatov.
The UFC Fight Night card on March 20 will likely go down at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas or in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The headliner sees a middleweight grudge match between Derek Brunson and Kevin Holland. Other key matchups on the card include Paul Craig vs. Jamahal Hill at light heavyweight, and Trevin Giles vs. Dricus Du Plessis in the middleweight division.