It is safe to say that when the veteran MMA fighter Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos stepped into the cage to face off against up-and-comer Michael Page this weekend, he envisioned a different ending.
At Bellator 158 in London, England, local hero Page (10-0, 7 by knockout) delivered a vicious flying knee to the center of Santos’ forehead, that landed the Brazilian fighter (21-18) in the hospital with a fractured skull.
Santos crumpled immediately after receiving the blow. He was in obvious pain, but remained alert after the fight and at the hospital.
"I’m under observation now, and will have surgery in the United States," Santos told MMA Fighting on Sunday. Problem is, doctors haven’t given him the go-ahead to fly yet, and there’s no telling when that might happen.
His former wife, the MMA fighter Cristiane Justino, posted a photo of him with his fractured skull on Instagram, noting in the caption, “Cyborg is still in the hospital in the U.K., and they are not sure when he will be able to fly again. He has not had surgery yet, and there is worry the brain can continue to swell [with fluids], causing more damage.”
Jimmy Smith, one of the commentators covering the event for Spike TV, tweeted, “I can say that Cyborg took REAL damage from that knee, and everyone is hoping he turns out OK.”
He followed that with a post reading, “A cut man who had worked as an EMT saw Cyborg after and told me he had only seen an injury like that in a severe car crash.”
The man who sent Santos to the hospital also expressed his support on social media. “I would like to express my best wishes to @Cyborg21 and his family,” Page tweeted, “as he is currently being held in [the] hospital for a fractured skull.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover Santos’ medical expenses.
"I’ll be back soon," he told MMA Fighting hopefully.