Thiago Santos essentially fought the greatest UFC fighter of all time on ONE leg after MRI exam results showed tears in all of his left knee's ligaments and meniscus.
The Brazilian challenger tore the ACL, MCL, PCL and meniscus of his left knee against Jon Jones at UFC 239.
Santos tweaked his knee at the end of the first round of their main-event bout. He continued to persevere as he pushed Jones all the way.
Though he was unable to dethrone the light-heavyweight king after he lost a split-decision.
But Santos can take solace in knowing that one judge had him winning the fight.
"I left everything in there even after injuring my knee in the first round," the 35-year-old said in the post-fight press conference.
"I fought four rounds on a southpaw stance, unable to move like I usually move, unable to throw the strikes I usually throw. I didn't shock the world because of those circumstances, but I did what I could do in those conditions and I'm satisfied."
Santos' head coach Tata Duarte was left rueing his knee injury.
"If that knee hadn't stopped him, Jon Jones would have gone down, no doubt," he said.
"Our game plan was all set, 'Marreta' was seeing everything. And after he started hurting Jon Jones' legs he began to lose mobility, it was too easy to put him out, man, but we counted on switching stances to get it done.
"He started the combinations but couldn't continue.
"But I'll say this: our goal was accomplished. He shocked the world.
"This guy's life story, man, he comes out huge after this fight. He knows he's a complete fighter, he knows he can do five rounds with anyone.
"He did five rounds with someone that people say is invincible, the best of all time, and did that on one knee. Imagine if he had both legs."
'Marreta' had reeled off four consecutive wins, including scalps over Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz, to earn his shot at UFC gold following his move up to 205lbs.
Santos' manager Alex Davis has confirmed he's out for the rest of 2019.