Underdog Of The Night: Thiago Santos

Nick Davis 1
Thiago Santos
via UFC.com

On Saturday at UFC 259, Brazilian fighter Thiago Santos (+134) will go toe-to-toe with Austrian Aleksander Rakić (-154). Rakić is looking to make his name in the Light Heavyweight division against a top-four fighter in Santos. For Rakić to break into the Light Heavyweight’s upper echelon, he will have to go through the formidable Thiago Santos. Even though Santos has the higher ranking in the division, Vegas has him as the underdog against Rakić, making Santos a good betting opportunity for the upset.

Age is Only a Number

When I examined the fighters’ fight history, Santos has been fighting top-tier talent while Rakić has been working through the lower end of the division. Santos has defeated one of the Main Event fighters, Jan Blachowicz, by TKO. Then Santos lost a split decision against ‘Bones’ Jones and followed that with a submission loss to Glover Teixeira. That’s a HUGE name for Santos to knockout and respectable losses. In the past two years, Santos fought three legitimate fighters and has completely earned his #4 ranking in the division.

While on the other hand, Rakić has torn through the lower end of the division. Five wins, with two knockouts and one submission, and suffered one split decision loss. While a 5-1 record is impressive to start in the UFC, I do not give that much stock considering the bottom division names Rakić has faced. The biggest thing I can see between the two fighters that would make Rakić the favorite is the age difference. Rakić is 29, while Santos is 37. Once fighters start getting up in age, we all know that they cannot take hits like they used to.

Final Thoughts

I’m still rolling with the experienced MMA fighter in Santos to win. His fights against the top Light Heavyweights have been extremely recent considering Covid, and I believe he won’t let Rakić breakthrough just yet. I see this fight becoming a massive slugfest for the fighters, lasting max two rounds but not making it to the third.

 

 

 

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