UFC Fight Night Santos vs Hill Picks and Predictions: Santos Sent Into Retirement

It's becoming painfully apparent Thiago Santos has nothing left in the tank — evidenced in his last bout. If that is in doubt at all, Jamahal Hill will make it even clearer with a decisive win at UFC Fight Night on August 6.

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2022 2:17 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Jamahal Hill UFC Fight Night
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Thiago Santos vs. Jamahal Hill is scheduled for three rounds in the light heavyweight division as the main event of the August 6 edition of UFC Fight Night from the Apex Center in Las Vegas. 

This could very well be Santos’ last stand, and Hill is looking to add his legendary name to his list of victims as he heads up the rankings.

Oddsmakers suggest the future is now, making the explosive Hill a -275 favorite. Santos is a +230 UFC odds underdog to reverse his fortunes and score the upset.

Here are our picks and predictions for Santos vs. Hill at UFC Fight Night.

Santos vs Hill fight odds

Live odds courtesy of the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Santos vs Hill method of victory odds

Method of Victory Thiago Santos Jamahal Hill
To win by KO/TKO +460 -140
To win by Points +700 +600
To win by Submission +1,900 +900
Draw +5,000 +5,000

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook on August 5, 2022.

Santos vs Hill picks

Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Santos vs Hill betting preview

Santos finds himself in a bad spot, going 1-4 over his last five fights and coming off a loss to Magomed Ankalaev last March. If there is any saving grace in Santos’ skid, the four losses have come against the best the division has to offer, and the lone win against Walker shows that he still has signs of life.

Over the course of his 32-fight career, Santos has 15 wins by way of knockout and carries the reputation of being a devastating striker. The Muay Thai specialist lands 3.77 significant strikes per minute and has stout defense, absorbing only 2.37 shots in return. In 10 defeats, he’s only been stopped three times and seldom gets knocked down to the mat.

After a cringe-inducing submission loss to Paul Craig showed how hard he’ll fight to avoid a loss, Hill came back with a vengeance with punishing back-to-back wins against Jimmy Crute and Johnny Walker. 

A win over the aging and faded Santos will be enough to put Hill into the Top 10, and the stars are aligning for him to do so in a big way.

Hill is an explosive striker who lands 7.06 significant strikes per minute and finishes his fights quickly, with an average fight time of 5:48. His last three wins came by knockout and it would certainly make a statement if he’s able to take Santos out in the same fashion as his most recent victims. 

What is yet to be seen is if Hill is better than his one-note offense suggests, but being one-dimensional here may not be a factor.

This fight figures to be a shootout for as long as it lasts. Both Hill and Santos know exactly what they are good at, and they won’t try to veer too far off the proven path considering what is at stake here. 

For Hill, it’s about testing how far his older foe will go to test his physicality. Santos has to fight smart and measured, having to trust his chin and heart one more time.

Santos vs Hill tale of the tape

Thiago Santos   Jamahal Hill
38 Age 31
6-foot-2 Height 6-foot-4
226 lbs Weight 217 lbs
76 inches Reach 79 inches
22-10 (15 KOs) Record 10-1 (6 KOs)

Santos vs Hill UFC prediction and best bet

Our prediction is compiled from the analysis of the fighters and is an indication of who we are leaning with to win this bout.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this fight or where the most value lies, and is where we would put some of our bankroll behind.

While many still want to believe that Santos can still go based off the strength of his performance against Jon Jones three years ago, we’re seeing a different story unfold. The knee surgeries, diminished performances, and the natural decline expected in a 38-year-old fighter is all too obvious. Against Ankalaev, Santos had a moment in the fourth round where he looked visibly exhausted and sighed as if to say, “That’s it.”

His confidence may be in doubt, but that’s not the case for Sweet Dreams. We’ve seen how far he’ll go and how much pain he’s willing to endure to stay in a fight, and he has the power to give the aging Santos trouble like he hasn’t had in years. Any prolonged exchanges will be in Hill’s favor, and his active style, as well as high connection rate, bodes well for him here.

These are two fighters following two sharply different trajectories at this point. While the jury is still out on how much substance there is behind Hill’s flash, whatever is left of Santos won’t be where we find out. 

If it wasn’t clear by now, Hill is our pick, and you should get him now before the line jumps.

Prediction: Jamahal Hill moneyline (-275 at DraftKings)

Going back to Santos’ last fight, he looked dejected and tired. When we consider the knee surgeries, the losses, and the mileage, he might be primed for a stoppage loss. 

Hill is tough, and he’s going to want to establish his power early, and because he’s so strong and deadly on the outside, Santos can’t bang with him and he may not be strong enough to force his way inside.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think Santos will get blasted out early as odds are suggesting. We expect him to make it halfway through, but no further. 

The call here is that Hill stops Santos in the third or fourth round at +600.

Pick: Jamahal Hill to win in Rounds 3-4 (+600 at DraftKings)

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