UFC Fight Night preview: Hill to inflict another Santos defeat

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UFC fight night is back this weekend in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, for UFC Vegas 59, and with a light heavyweight main event and a mouth-watering welterweight co-main, knockouts will be rife.

We preview the best of the action below.

Santos v Hill: Hill to make it a hat-trick?

Dana White’s Contender Series graduate Jamahal Hill has an exceptional record of 10-1-1 in the octagon, with seven of those wins coming by way of KO/TKO. He has bounced back from his loss to Paul Craig in 2021 with two back-to-back wins and will look to continue his winning streak this weekend.

Hill heads into this bout the heavy favourite at 1/3, and has the slight advantage in height and reach, at 6’4” with a three-inch reach advantage. ‘Sweet Dreams’ as he is known by his fans, also has a remarkable rate of 7.06 strikes landed per minute, nearly double that of his opponent who lands 3.77 per minute.

Thiago Santos is a veteran of the light heavyweight division, and having fought a much higher calibre of opponent, his record stands at 22 wins and 10 losses, with a legacy of highlight reel knockouts. Records do not tell the whole story however, with some of those losses coming to the likes of Uriah Hall and Jon Jones.

The Brazilian has only won one fight since his split decision title challenge loss to Jones in 2019, so it is no wonder he is the underdog here at 23/10. Should Santos manage to get the upper hand in this match-up it is likely he will win by KO/TKO at 4/1.

Whichever way this fight plays out, it is likely to see top class striking from two well-backed fighters, and it seems highly unlikely that the fight goes the distance, at 1/4 for the fight to not make it to the judges’ scorecards.

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Luque v Neal: Luque thirsty for win

Vicente Luque is sixth ranked in the welterweight division and heads into the octagon the favourite at 8/15. With a 21-8-1 record including wins over some of the best in the division, his last outing to the octagon left a sour taste with a unanimous decision loss to Belal Muhammad, but Luque is yet to lose two back-to-back fights.

‘The Silent Assassin’, Luque, always looks on the offensive and is ready to put the nail in the coffin for his opponents at any stage in the fight. With 11 of his wins coming by KO/TKO and eight submission finishes, get Luque to win by stoppage at 7/5.

Fortis MMA’s Geoff Neal comes here off a split decision win to Santiago Ponzinibbio last December making his record 14-4, with ten of those wins ending by stoppage. He is a fearsome underdog and punters might take him at 6/4 to win.

Neal has a whopping 85% takedown defence rate, meaning he should be able to fight off any slick submission attempts by Luque. It’s no secret that a win this weekend would be huge for Neal, carrying him higher up the welterweight rankings than he’s ever been before. If you fancy the Texan to win by stoppage the odds are 3/1.

This will be a wildly entertaining fight and Neal’s destructive power could make this an all-out brawl, which could make it a decent price for the fight to not go the distance at 4/6.

Check out all the latest UFC betting odds at William Hill

The post UFC Fight Night preview: Hill to inflict another Santos defeat appeared first on William Hill News.

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