This weekend’s UFC Fight Night is headlined by the clash between Thiago Santos and Jamahal Hill. These two guys are among the top 10 light heavyweights and are well known among MMA fans. Santos is a veteran, once a title challenger, who pushed Jon Jones to the brink, forcing the judges to award Jones one of the most controversial wins in the past few years.
Meanwhile, Jamahal Hill is a relatively new face in the division, and he wants to prove himself against Santos in his second headliner. With this victory, the American would announce his arrival on the big stage and earn himself another headliner and a chance to be in the title mix.
The Marreta was one of the most exciting guys to watch in the light heavyweight division. His climb was superb, filled with knockouts and highlight reels. How he finished Jan Blachowicz, Anthony Smith, Jimi Manuwa, etc, is impressive, and how he fought with Jones is even better.
Though, that battle cost him a lot. Not only did the judges award a split decision win to Jones, but Santos suffered severe knee damage and other injuries to the lower part of his legs, which demanded surgeries. After that, the Brazilian never reached his previous level of form, slowing down significantly.
Following a loss to Jones, he had three more defeats and only one victory. Glover submitted Santos, while Aleksandar Rakic and, most recently, Magomed Ankalaev beat the Brazilian via unanimous decision. His only win came against Johnny Walker, also a unanimous decision.
Marreta still has a KO power in his fists, but is unable to reach the rivals due to his slower footwork, and lack of explosiveness. Most of the rivals are dragging him to the ground, trying to collect points there, but still, Santos isn’t easy to restrain regardless of his physical condition.
Sweet Dreams is the nickname of this guy and may we add that it suits him well. For the moment, 10 wins, one loss, and one no contest is a very good record for the 31-year-old, who had six KO triumphs.
The last two were in the first rounds, against Jimmy Crute in December 2021, and the more recent in February once he demolished Johnny Walker. This was a perfect way for Hill to erase a loss against Paul Craig from the UFC 263, which ended his perfect streak.
Hill is a very aggressive fighter, who knows how to react in all situations. He is a very good puncher, and the last few bouts are the best proof of that. On the other hand, he has mediocre knowledge on the ground, but for the moment, takedown defense is pretty solid.
The only negative aspect of his fight is the inexperience against the better fighters because his biggest wins were against Ovince Saint Preux and Walker, and we need to add that neither of these two is or was an elite in the division.
After seeing the odds, we think that the bookmakers underestimated Santos a little bit. He really isn’t as good as before, but still, we don’t quite get why all of them think that he is such a big underdog. All of his recent losses came against the top five in the division, while on the other hand, Hill wasn’t even near those guys.
It might come as a surprise, but we are picking Santos to win this bout, solely due to the impression that everyone wrote him off, without even looking at all the circumstances.