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UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones says that Thiago Santos deserves  a second shot at his championship title upon his return from double knee surgery following injuries he sustained in the UFC 239 headliner earlier this month.

Despite appearing to be unable to support his own weight at times as injuries to his knees hindered his aggressive kicking game, Brazilian slugger Santos came as close as anyone before him in defeating Jones inside the UFC octagon. Jones was awarded a split decision win after 25-minutes of action — the first time in his entire career that a cageside judge has scored a fight for Jones’ opponent.

Santos posted a video to social media in the days following the fight, showing him in a wheelchair accompanied by text describing the double knee surgery he has been through and detailing the difficulties he has in moving around, sleeping and even eating since the fight.

Of course, this begs the question as to how the fight may have progressed had Santos managed to stay at 100 percent throughout but Jones says that he would be more than happy to roll this one back once ‘Marreta’ returns to full fitness.

Replying to Santos’ social media video, Jones praised his opponent saying: “Remember God gives his toughest battles to his toughest soldiers. Life is all about perspective. Use this time wisely, I have no doubt you will. Handle this adversity with your head high, never know who you’re inspiring. God Speed.”

Jones iterated in a second tweet to a fan that it is “only fair” for the two fighters to meet once again inside the octagon — but we may have to wait a while for that, as Santos isn’t expected to fit to compete following his surgery until the summer of 2020.