The UFC said farewell to legend Anderson Silva last weekend, while this Saturday two of his Brazilian compatriots, Thiago Santos and Glover Teixeira, square off at UFC Fight Night: Santos vs Teixeira (aka UFC Vegas 13).
It’s a sneakily solid fight card – maybe lacking big names outside of the main event, but some real good fighters will be entering the cage at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Let’s kick off our betting preview in the obvious place – the main event.
Saturday’s main event would have – probably should have – been a de facto #1 contender’s match to determine who would be new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jan Blachowicz’s first title challenger. However, it was recently announced that middleweight king Israel Adesanya will be jumping the line, as big-name title holders tend to do, and will instead try to obtain a UFC title in a second weight class. Saturday’s winner will have to settle for whoever remains standing after Blachowicz vs Adesanya.
Tale of the Tape
But, to the matter at hand – how do Santos and Teixeira match up? It’s a very interesting pairing, to be certain, with Santos bringing a frenetic, wildly powerful and athletic striking game to the match while Teixeira relies on heavy hands and his second degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They’ve both had cracks at the title in the past – Teixeira way back in 2004 and Santos in his last fight a year ago this past June – but both were turned away by all-time great Jon Jones.
As for the tale of the tape and the vital stats, Santos is five years Teixeira’s junior, as the elder is 41-years-old, ancient for a fighter (however, he shows no signs of slowing down, having won four-straight fights against younger, top competition). The younger fighter has won 62% of the time this year, and five years is no small gap, so advantage Santos. The intangibles “power” and “athleticism” are also firmly in his column. The most important stat for calling fights – a fighter’s career striking numbers – leans heavily to ‘Marreta’, also – he’s just as accurate as Teixeira, while being slightly more active, and has far better defensive stats. Glover actually gets hit more in fights, on average, than he dishes out, which is bad news when you’re facing someone who hits like a truck.
While there’s a chance Teixeira gets Santos to the mat, I think there’s a greater chance he gets knocked out by him. So, Santos at
10/27 is the pick (or Santos to win via KO at
5/8 if you want better odds).
Boser Favourite to Beat Arlovski
In the co-main event, former UFC Heavyweight Champion Andrei Arlovski meets Canadian upstart Tanner Boser. I’ve got Boser (
2/7) winning this one as he’s younger, faster, more athletic and hits like his nickname – a bulldozer. Once again if you want primo money go Boser via KO at
7/5. As for underdogs, they haven’t been faring too well the past few events, but I expect at least a few to come through this weekend (on average about a third of a fight card sees dogs winning). The debuting Ramiz Brahimaj is a jiu-jitsu wizard and a
23/20 underdog for his fight against Max Griffin. While Griffin is scary strong and athletic, he’s only 3-7 in the octagon and should struggle with Brahimaj’s ground game. If you want to get greedy, take Brahimaj via submission at
9/2. I also like Luiz Eduardo Garagorri at
37/20 in his fight against Darren Elkins. Elkins has lost four straight and has lots of miles on his odometer, while Garagorri lost his last fight, but it was his only blemish in 14 pro fights. I’m counting on a bounce back from him on Saturday.
*All odds correct at time of writing.