This story was first reported by MMAFighting.com, whose sources close to the organization had confirmed that he was released due to his request. Santiago’s manager Malki Kawa has not confirmed the release either, however the current word is that Santiago is looking to sign with a major North American promotion immediately.
Santiago is the current middleweight champion of the organization and is coming off what many considered the best fight of 2010 when he defeated Kazuo Misaki by technical knockout when his corner threw in the towel. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt is 23-8 during his MMA career with wins over notable fighters such as Jeremy Horn, Trevor Prangley, and Kazuhiro Nakamura.
While it has not been announced which organization Santiago is looking to join, he does have ties with both the UFC and Strikeforce. Santiago has a 1-2 record in the UFC from his time with the company in 2006. However, he was much more successful in Strikeforce where he is 2-0 and won the 2007 Middleweight Grand Prix.
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