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The main event comes in the Light Heavyweight division, as the old guard Thiago Santos looks to hold off the young lion in Jamahal Hill. A former title challenger, Santos has struggled to repeat the success that saw him earn a title shot. Losing four of the last five fights, Santos finds himself in a position where another loss could completely shut his chances of ever fighting again for UFC gold. Meanwhile, Hill has been excellent since touching down in the UFC. While one of his wins did get overturned due to testing positive for Marijuana, and his arm got snapped in a loss to Paul Craig, Hill has managed to win four fights since 2020. The last two being impressive, as he starched Jimmy Crute in 48 seconds and sent Johnny Walker into the shadow realm within the first three minutes of the fight. Checking in at tenth in the rankings, Hill has an opportunity to knock off a former title challenger and stamp his name among the contenders at 205 pounds.
An intriguing bout, this is your typical proving grounds fight. Santos, is a powerful striker who has recorded fifteen knockout victories over his career. Known to have debilitating leg kicks, Santos is a dangerous foe to stand in front of. Although, since having major leg surgeries following the Jon Jones bout, the Brazilian has clearly lacked the movement and explosiveness he once had. One could even say, it’s the main culprit for why Santos has lost three of the last four fights since returning from his injuries. Looking to cash in on Santos’ name, is Hill. Known for his output, Hill can absolutely rack up strikes in very little time. With excellent size and power in his hands, Hill has been stopping foes left and right. In fact, five of the last six wins by Hill have come via knockout – including three straight.
Hard to trust Santos anymore, and clearly lacking the same explosiveness he used to have, I have Hill winning. In a fight that is going to be contested on the feet, outside Santos landing some heavy leg kicks that stop Hill, I don’t foresee the Brazilian being able to keep up with the activity of the young gun. Being that this is five rounds, I also don’t believe Santos is going to be able to absorb the damage Hill is going to sling out. So with that said, I predict that Hill will win via TKO.