UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Hill Picks, Predictions, Odds

This week’s UFC event will feature top light heavyweights Thiago Santos and Jamahal Hill squaring off in the main event. Santos is looking to prove that he is still an elite fighter, while Hill is out to make a name for himself in his second headline fight. Ranked welterweights Vicente Luque and Geoff Neal will face off in the co-main event, and there is an intriguing heavyweight bout on the cards too.

UFC on ESPN: Santos vs. Hill will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2022. Like most non-PPV events nowadays, this promotion will take place at UFC Apex outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. The prelims will start at 7 p.m. ET with the main card getting underway at 10 p.m. ET, and the whole promotion can be seen on ESPN or ESPN+. 


Thiago Santos vs. Jamahal Hill Picks

A loss for Thiago Santos in this fight would probably mean the end of his time as a headline attraction in the UFC. The 38-year-old has had an impressive run in the UFC, but he has lost three of his last four fights following a split decision loss to Jon Jones for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship at UFC 239 three years ago. That has seen his star fade, and he is a significant underdog against up and comer Jamahal Hill.

Hill is 10-1-1 in his MA career, and the one No Contest was a victory that was overturned after he tested positive for marijuana. His only loss came at the hands of Paul Craig last year, but he has since bounced back with quick knockouts of Jimmy Crute and Johnny Walker. We have seen Hill showcase formidable power over the last three years, and he stands a very good chance of stopping Santos in his tracks.

This should be an early knockout for Hill. His last five fights have all lasted two rounds or less, and four of those fights ended in Round 1. He has more power than Santos, and he also has a three-inch reach advantage.

To Win Fight: Jamahal Hill (-275)
Total Rounds: Under 2.5 (-175)

Vicente Luque vs. Geoff Neal Picks

Geoff Neal has not been impressive in three straight fights. Neal looked to be making a name for himself with wins over Belal Muhammad and Niko Price, but he lost unanimous decisions to Stephen Thompson and Neil Magny and had to hold on for a split decision win against Santiago Ponzinibbio in December. Neal is just 31, yet he could be on the downslope of his career given his recent performances.

Meanwhile, Vicente Luque is looking to bounce back after a loss to Muhammad in his last fight. Luque had won four straight fights prior to that loss, earning bonuses for three of his performances. He does not want this bout to go the distance, as Luque is 19-2 in fights that finish early and 2-6-1 in bouts that are decided by the judges.

The key for Neal in this fight will be to keep Luque at bay with his leg kicks. Luque is too strong otherwise and will control the action in a finish.

To Win Fight: Vicente Luque (-175)
Total Rounds: Under 2.5 (-125)

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Augusto Sakai vs. Serghei Spivac Picks

There’s way too much hype surrounding Serghei Spivac following his win over the wildly overrated Greg Hardy. Spivac finally put Hardy out of his misery in the UFC, but it wasn’t that impressive of a win. He has struggled with experienced fighters like Tom Aspinall and Marcin Tybura, so this is a great chance to back Augusto Sakai at too high of a price.

Sakai has lost three straight bouts, but he was 15-1-1 before those losses. He knocked out Tybura three years ago, and he is more powerful and more disciplined than Hardy. Sakai shouldn’t be this big of an underdog given the circumstances.

To Win Fight: Augusto Sakai (+200)
Total Rounds: Over 1.5 (-163)