Jamahal Hill vs Thiago Santos Fight Odds
Jamahal Hill -285 vs Thiago Santos
Fight is five rounds at 205 lbs and is -450 to end inside the distance.
This light heavyweight main event has the feel of a changing of the guard for me, or at least the next step in that process. Thiago “Marreta” Santos has long been among my very favorite fighters, and has been wildly exciting throughout his career. He’s recorded spectacular knockouts and was robbed by judging of a championship win over Jon Jones by my view. That split decision went the wrong way. He is the only fighter to ever take a judge’s scorecard from Jones.
That Jones fight was unfortunately the turning point in his career. Not due to the fight itself, but due to the injuries he sustained to both knees in that fight. He needed nearly a year and a half to recover after that fight, and has gone just 1-3 since. More importantly, Marreta has not had any stoppage wins since then, despite scoring a knockdown in two of those fights. He will always have some level of explosiveness, but that top level has either been removed completely by the injury or by his own lack of trust in his ability. Age alone may also play a factor. While Marreta will always be a knockout threat, he will not be the more explosive fighter in this matchup. Words that have not previously been uttered.
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Jamahal Hill has found nothing but success in the UFC, save for the underestimation of Paul Craig’s guard. His lone loss was being pulled into the Craig guard and getting arm barred in nasty fashion. His other six fights all saw him have his hand raised, and the power and explosion is absolutely evident. Hill’s last two fights have been first round knock outs over other prospects that have had huge amounts of hype in Johnny Walker and Jimmy Crute. The starching of Crute in under a minute was at least somewhat surprising to me and it was the fight that let me know Hill was very much the real deal. Hill’s loss to Craig is the only one of his career and he has had just one fight see the judge’s scorecards since 2018.
We’ve seen Aleksander Rakic and Magomed Ankalaev essentially play it “safe” against Santos in wins, and Johnny Walker also opt for point fighting in a loss. Hill is not the fighter and he will force the action. Bluntly, someone is getting knocked out here, and I do no expect it to be Hill. The Hill -160 inside the distance line is clearly not the most value laden we will find, but it is easily the most probable outcome of the fight, and a bullet I’m going to fire at this main event.