Luana Santos ‘definitely will’ win UFC fight with rare kesa gatame leg americana finish
Luana Santos wants to make history by scoring the first kesa gatame leg americana submission in UFC history.
The judo specialist, who faces Stephanie Egger in the preliminary portion of Saturday’s UFC Vegas 83 after knocking out Juliana Miller in her promotional debut in August, Santos has won two of her first three MMA bouts with that sequence in the Brazilian regional scene, and said she’s going to try the move inside the octagon one day.
“It’s something I always do and everybody in the gym knows that because when I take them down with the guard passed, I’m already in position for the kesa gatame, — and then I see the arm there,” Santos said on MMA Fighting’s Trocação Franca podcast.
“I’ve learned that position two or three days before my first MMA fight while running on the treadmill, Helios [Nogues Moyano] of 011 MMA showed me, and I loved it right away. I’ve done it in my MMA debut, first round, and then again in the third round of my third fight.”
Check the finish at the 10:38 mark.
Santos’ flashy finishes flew under the radar in 2021 and 2022, but she thinks that doing it under the bright lights of the UFC could secure her not only a $50,000 bonus, but a Submission Of The Year prize.
“People in the gym always say that I’ll definitely win a bonus if I do that in the UFC,” Santos laughed. “I didn’t have the opportunity to do it in my debut, but it definitely will happen because it’s automatic. You don’t see anyone doing that because doing the judo throw is hard enough.”
Egger, her opponent Saturday, is a judo black belt with a record of 3-3 under the UFC banner. The Swiss talent scored all octagon victories by way of submission and has the experience of competing in major grappling tournaments such as the ADCC, going the distance with grappling legend Gabi Garcia in 2019.
“To me, it’s two completely different things,” Santos said of grappling and MMA, “especially because there are no punches allowed in the ADCC or jiu-jitsu. That changes everything. To be able to hit and scare her, you can’t compare jiu-jitsu in MMA to pure jiu-jitsu. The moment a hand lands, the scenario changes completely.”
Despite both fighters’ grappling credentials, Santos said she plans on keeping it on the feet this time at the UFC APEX.
“I think she might come looking for a jiu-jitsu fight, it’s her thing,” Santos said. “She doesn’t strike that much, and I’m changing my characteristics. I’m not the same Luana that rushed to hug and take it to the ground. If it’s up to me it won’t be a grappling match right off the bat. I’m training to strike with her. She has many flaws on the feet and I plan on taking advantage of that, but I’m ready for everything.”