42-year-old Leonardo Santos has no plans to retire from MMA: ‘If I’m happy with this, why stop?’

SALT LAKE CITY – Leonardo Santos is not ready to retire just yet.

Despite being 42, Santos (18-5-1 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC) says the passion for MMA is still there and he’s still willing to go through the trenches in the gym.

“Everyone asks me about this,” Santos told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at Wednesday’s UFC 278 media day. “If I’m happy – if I want to pay the price to stay there with young guys, trying to kill myself everyday, like two, three times a day, make a diet, cut weight – if I’m happy with this, why stop?

“I’m thinking, what am I going to do if I don’t do this? I still find out. I try, but it’s hard. I try to find out something like maybe I’ll open my gym, teach, maybe be a cornerman. It’s hard.”

Santos will look to snap a two-fight skid when he faces Jared Gordon (18-5 MMA, 6-4 UFC) on Saturday at UFC 278 at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ABC/ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.

“He’s tough,” Santos said. “The lightweight division is crazy. You look at the rankings and you see No. 30, 50 – it’s only tough guys. It’s the hardest weight class in the UFC, easy.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 278.


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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie