Surprise! One-time UFC flyweight title challenger Taila Santos removed from roster
Taila Santos has just taken her third straight loss.
Brazil’s Santos, 30, became the first fighter to earn a contract through Dana White’s Contender Series who’d challenge for UFC gold. The moment for Santos was the most notable of her career, challenging former champion, Valentina Shevchenko, for the Flyweight title at UFC 275 in June 2022.
Unfortunately for Santos, she came up short against Shevchenko with a split decision loss (watch highlights). The fight was so competitive that many within the community argued for an instant rematch, but the biggest turning point in the contest was arguably when Santos broke her orbital bone, which swelled as the action continued. Instead of facing Shevchenko again, Santos recovered on the sidelines after surgery to fix her injury.
Things didn’t get much better for Santos in the immediate aftermath of the loss as shortly after, she was accused of failing to pay her old gym. Santos has fought once since she challenged Shevchenko, fighting a fellow top contender, Erin Blanchfield, at UFC Singapore in August 2023. Santos gave the youthful star a tough out but once again lost a decision, this time unanimously, resulting in her first career losing streak.
Santos’ fight with Blanchfield was originally scheduled to headline UFC Vegas 69 in February 2023. Visa issues for two of Santos’ cornermen, one of which being her husband, however, led to her withdrawal, and former UFC Strawweight champion, Jessica Andrade, replaced her. Blanchfield won the fight via second round rear naked choke (watch highlights).