Ahead of UFC Vegas 59, we take a look at the odds, and predictions for the main card
The UFC light heavyweight division witnessed one of the greatest title clashes in the history of the company, when Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira clashed at UFC 275. The dynamics of the division has taken a turn for good, with a fresh dose of excitement seen after a long time since Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier days. Between October 2021 to June 2022, the title has changed hands twice now, and the division is currently reigned by Polish fighter Jiri Prochazka. To add to the excitement, fresh talents are emerging in the division, and two of them compete this weekend. Former title challenger Thiago Santos and rising challenger Jamahal Hill will clash at UFC Vegas 59.
Thiago Santos vs Jamahal Hill
A professional fighter since 2010, Brazilian light heavyweight fighter Thiago Santos made his entry into the UFC by competing in The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2. As of March 14, 2022, he is #6 in the UFC light heavyweight rankings.
Santos had a rough childhood, being born into a poverty-stricken family in Rio de Janeiro. In early childhood, he suffered from an undiagnosed disease that spawned growing cysts in his stomach, but which were surgically removed. During one of the occasional floods in his city, Santos’ family lost their belongings and after a period of homelessness, they settled in the notorious neighborhood of Cidade de Deus. Unfortunately, Santos’ father died just days after his mixed martial arts debut in 2010.
Santos trained in capoeira for eight years and was a Brazilian army paratrooper, before starting MMA. He made his professional MMA debut in October 2010.
In March 2013, it was announced that Santos was part of the cast of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2. In the opening round, Santos defeated Gil Freitas by majority decision to get into the TUF house. He was the last pick when it came to the coaches’ pick, ending up on Team Werdum. In the elimination round, Santos first faced Pedro Iriê and won by unanimous decision. In the quarterfinals, he faced eventual season winner Leonardo Santos and lost via unanimous decision.
After going undefeated at 3–0 in Light Heavyweight bouts, Santos went on to challenge Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in the main event at UFC 239 on July 6, 2019. He lost the back-and-forth fight via split decision. Despite the loss, Santos was the first fighter in MMA history to win a judge’s scorecard against Jones.
Jamahal Hill is an American professional mixed martial artist, who competes in the light heavyweight division of the UFC. Starting his career in 2017, Hill started his professional career 5–0, four of the five fights coming under the KnockOut Promotions banner. In just his fourth professional fight Hill defeated future UFC fighter Dequan Townsend despite Townsend having twenty-six pro appearances prior to that bout.
Hill then received the call to appear on Dana White’s Contender Series 21 back in 2019, where Hill defeated opponent Alexander Poppeck via second-round ground and pound, earning his UFC contract.
Hill made his UFC debut against Darko Stošić on January 25, 2020 at UFC Fight Night 166. He won the fight via unanimous decision. Currently he has a record of 10 wins, 1 loss, and 1 no contest as a professional mixed martial artist.
Our Prediction- Although Thiago Santos is on a downward spiral, you cannot count out the solid veteran. Jahamal Hill has youth, power, and tenacity on his side. He has also been working smartly which shows in his training footage. Hill has the better chances of winning, but the longer the fight goes, Santos can use his experience the change the course of the fight.
Vicente Luque vs Geoff Neal
Vicente Luque was on a brilliant four fight run before loosing to Belal Muhammad. He lacked the usual ferocity in his last fight, although credit for that goes to Muhammad’s brilliant game plan. His opponent Geoff Neal is coming off a split decision victory back in December 2021.
Our Prediction- Vicente Luque will be looking forward to get back to winning ways, and we believe he gets the job done against Neall, in the first or second round.
(Heavyweight) Zac Pauga (-230) [Favorite] vs. Mohammed Usman (+195)
(Women’s flyweight) Brogan Walker (+105) vs. Juliana Miller (-125) [Favorite]
(Heavyweight) Augusto Sakai (+180) vs. Sergey Spivak (-210) [Favorite]
(Women’s flyweight) Ariane Lipski (-165) [Favorite] vs. Priscila Cachoeira (+140)
(Middleweight) Sam Alvey (+380) vs. Michał Oleksiejczuk (-475) [Favorite]
(Lightweight) Terrance McKinney (-850) [Favorite] vs. Erick Gonzalez (+600)
(Welterweight) Takashi Sato (+195) vs. Bryan Battle (-230) [Favorite]
(Welterweight) Jason Witt (+190) vs. Josh Quinlan (-225) [Favorite]
(Women’s strawweight) Miranda Granger (+185) vs. Cory McKenna (-215) [Favorite]
(Women’s bantamweight) Mayra Bueno Silva (-140) [Favorite] vs. Stephanie Egger (+120)
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