Luana Santos Aims to Make UFC History with Kesa Gatame Submission

Luana Santos wants to make history by marking the first American kesa gatame leg 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 fights with this streak on the Brazilian regional scene, and said she will one day try the move inside the octagon.

“It’s something I always do and everyone in the gym knows it because when I take them down with the past guard, I’m already in position for the kesa gatame, – and then I see the arm there,” Santos said on MMA Fighting. Free exchange podcast.

“I learned this position two or three days before my first MMA fight by running on the treadmill, Helios [Nogues Moyano] of 011 MMA showed me, and I immediately loved it. I did it in my MMA debut, in the first round, and then again in the third round of my third fight.

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Santos’ flashy finishes have gone unnoticed in 2021 and 2022, but she believes doing it under the bright lights of the UFC could secure her not only a $50,000 bonus, but also a Submission of the year prix.

“People in the gym always say I’ll definitely earn a bonus if I do this in the UFC,” Santos laughed. “I didn’t have the opportunity to do it when I first started, but it will definitely happen because it’s automatic. You don’t see anyone doing that because doing the judo throw is hard enough.

Egger, his opponent Saturday, is a black belt in judo with a 3-3 record under the UFC banner. The Swiss talent has won every octagon by submission and has experience competing in major grappling tournaments such as ADCC, going the distance with grappling legend Gabi Garcia in 2019.

“For me, they are two completely different things,” Santos said of grappling and MMA, “especially because there are no punches allowed in ADCC or jiu-jitsu. This changes everything. To be able to hit her and scare her, you can’t compare jiu-jitsu in MMA to pure jiu-jitsu. As soon as a hand lands, the scenario changes completely.

Despite both fighters’ wrestling credentials, Santos said she plans to stay on her feet this time at UFC APEX.

“I think she might come looking for a jiu-jitsu fight, that’s her thing,” Santos said. “She doesn’t hit that much and I change my characteristics. I’m not the same Luana who rushed to hug him and take him to the ground. If it’s up to me, it won’t be a wrestling match from the start. I’m training to hit with her. She has a lot of flaws on her feet and I intend to take advantage of them, but I’m ready for anything.

2023-12-09 22:07:51
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