Tomorrow night in the headliner of UFC Vegas 59, we are going to see a huge matchup in the light heavyweight division. Top ten contenders will battle it out as former title challenger Thiago Santos (22-10) takes on tenth ranked Jamahal Hill (10-1, 1 NC).
This is a huge fight for both men in very different ways. For Jamahal Hill, he’s looking to continue riding the wave of momentum he’s currently on. Since making his UFC debut, Hill has mostly been perfect. He had one slip up against Paul Craig, but he’s answered back with two straight first round finishes.
Those finishes came against Jimmy Crute and Johnny Walker. He has a huge test tomorrow in the former title challenger, but “Sweet Dreams” is ready to show that he can take on the elite of the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
Like Hill, Thiago Santos’ last win came against Johnny Walker. However, that one win is surrounded by four losses. Starting with the Jon Jones fight where he tore his knee apart, Santos lost three straight. Then he won a decision against Walker before losing a lackluster decision to Magomed Ankalaev.
UFC Vegas 59 Prediction
I really don’t know what to expect from Thiago Santos when he makes the walk anymore. The man looked like a destroyer leading up to his UFC title shot against Jon Jones. However, after his knee injury, he seems like a shell of himself.
He seems less confident on his feet and much more gun shy. Jamahal Hill on the other hand has a ton of confidence and he’s always ready to lead with his power. On paper, you have to give the advantage there to Hill.
Now, Santos has five-round experience and he’s been in five main events in his past six fights. He’s been there and he does that, but I’m not sure it’s going to matter at UFC Vegas 59. One thing I’d like to see from Santos early is his kicks.
If he’s kicking early and often, it’s a good sign. However, if he results to just using his hands, I think he’ll be in trouble. Hill is going to come forward and he’s going to look for big shots. I think one of those big shots connects in the second round.
I know Thiago Santos hasn’t been stopped by strikes at 205, but I like Jamahal Hill to change that.
Prediction: Jamahal Hill by TKO – Round 2