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UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Hill MMA Odds and Picks

Santos Hill picks
Mixed martial artist Thiago Santos poses on the scale. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP.

A pair of hard-hitting light heavyweights will close out Saturday’s card in Las Vegas, as Thiago Santos meets Jamahal Hill during the UFC’s return to the Apex. Have a look at our Santos-Hill picks below before this weekend’s event.

The UFC’s matchmakers have done it again, with Santos and Hill set to trade leather in a matchup that every fight fan is salivating about.

Each man will get exactly the fight he wants during this striker’s ball, as both of these light heavyweights prefer to keep the action standing and often get their hands raised via knockout or TKO. However, these two bruisers are in drastically different spots ahead of Saturday’s bill, as Santos has dropped four of his last five scraps, while Hill heads to Vegas in pursuit of his third straight victory.

Will Santos’ jaw-shattering power pull him out of his slump? Or will Hill steal the show and end the clash early yet again?

Here are my Santos-Hill picks and predictions for Saturday’s main event (odds via FanDuel Sportsbook; Pick confidence is based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Santos vs. Hill Fight Info

Date/Time: Saturday, Aug. 6, 10 p.m. ET (main card)
TV: ESPN
Location: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, NV, United States

Santos vs. Hill Odds Analysis

Despite lacking Santos’ experience, Hill heads to the UFC Apex as a comfortable favorite, with DraftKings Sportsbook and PointsBet listing the prospect at -320 and -325, respectively.

As for the other half of Saturday’s headliner, Santos sits at +265 through DraftKings, which is worth your attention if you’re banking on his prodigious power and experience edge.

Hill and Santos boast 21 knockouts between the two. Those expecting an early night for either man through that preferred method of victory will find a Hill KO/TKO at -140 through FanDuel, and one for Santos at a whopping +460 with the same sportsbook.

Thiago Santos Betting Profile

Santos’ 2018 move up from middleweight quickly bore fruit, as he earned three straight knockouts at 205 pounds and a shot at Jon Jones’ crown within a year. “Marreta” acquitted himself well in his battle with Jones, but he fell short on points before dropping his next two tilts to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic.

The Brazilian’s sole victory in over three years came via decision in a snoozer with Johnny Walker in October 2021. He then lost another fight to Magomed Ankalaev in March during his latest showing. Despite his recent woes, Santos’ raw power still makes him a legitimate threat to most light heavyweights, and he’ll need to ditch his recent habit of point-fighting and lead the dance to right the ship come Saturday.

Jamahal Hill Betting Profile

Legit prospects don’t come often at 205 pounds. Some might argue the jury is still out on Hill, but he’s held up his end thus far with wins in all but one of the 31-year-old’s five walks to the Octagon (one 2020 no-contest notwithstanding).

Hill has recorded three of his four promotional victories and six of his 10 pro wins through KO/TKOs. He also disposed of Jimmy Crute and Walker to rebound from an ugly 2021 loss to Paul Craig.

At 6’4” with a nearly 80-inch reach, Hill’s measurables make him a tricky dance partner. Much like Santos, he can put a man’s lights out with a single clean shot. Tasked with a fearsome foe who’s at his best when throwing first, Hill may try playing the matador while looking to time Santos’ entries with some clever counters.

Santos vs. Hill Picks

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Santos vs. Hill Predictions

Hill to win (-310)

Yes, Santos can always land a fight-ending haymaker, and this matchup’s lines may not be doing him justice. But I’m banking on Hill to be the more cunning fighter here.

For one thing, Santos leaves much to be desired as a point-fighter. If he plays the aggressor, Hill’s tall-man boxing and cleverly timed hooks should frustrate the more experienced Brazilian. As long as he doesn’t go back to his old habit of leaning away from punches with his chin out, Hill should ride his timing and edge in length to a fifth UFC victory.

Hill by KO/TKO (-140)

Santos is far from chinny. But he’s fallen to strikes in the Octagon before, once through a cleverly looped zinger from David Branch, and again to a superior technician in Gegard Mousasi. Hill will be the third man to fold Santos in the UFC, as he packs a solid wallop, knows how to time his hooks, and scores 1.48 knockdowns per 15 minutes to Santos’ 0.95.

If Santos returns to his old ways and begins charging in with reckless flurries, Hill won’t need more than a short counter or two to drop him and make it three straight wins.

Where to Bet on Santos-Hill Picks

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Santos-Hill picks made on 8/4/2022 at 11:28 p.m. ET.