Leonardo Santos has won five of six fights under the UFC banner and he is battling Olivier Aubin-Mercier this June at UFC 212.
With five wins thus far in his UFC tenure, the fighter says he should be ranked in the lightweight division, but feels the UFC rankings system is just unfair.
“I don’t understand the criteria,” Santos told MMA Junkie. “That’s what makes me a little upset. Because when you come into the UFC, you think that the more you win, the more you climb to the top 15, top 10, top five, and maybe some day the belt. And we see that’s not really how it is. I understand it; it’s a business. Cool. But it has to a little fair to who’s doing a good job – to those who might not be talking a lot but are showing it in the octagon.”
The five wins that Santos got in the UFC so far have come over William Macario, Efrain Escudero, Tony Martin, Kevin Lee and Adriano Martins.
Santos knows that he needs to stay motivated in order to break into the top 15 down the line.
“You need to stay motivated,” Santos said. “The event needs to help you stay motivated. Making more money, making it to the top, fighting for the belt – that’s why we’re there. The money, the title, the conquest. If you take too much of it away, we lose motivation. That’s the truth. How long will I have the motivation to trade punches with people and not see my name among the top, not to be able to fight these guys who claim to be the top 10 in the world? I consider myself a top-10 (fighter), but when are they going to give me that chance to be there? To do a main event? We think about all those things. And, for me, it gets harder and harder. The sport we’re in is tough, so if you don’t have a great head or your body is not following up … it’s hard.”
UFC 212 takes place on Saturday, June 3 from the HSBC Arena in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with Jose Aldo and Max Holloway headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.