UFC on ESPN 40: Thiago Santos vs. Jamahal Hill Picks and Predictions

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Thiago Santos and Jamahal Hill face off on Saturday in the main event of UFC on ESPN 40 in a light heavyweight showdown at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Santos is currently ranked 6th in the division while Hill is currently ranked 10th. 

Thiago Santos comes into this fight with a 22-10 record overall but he has lost four of his last five fights, and he has a ton of pressure on him heading into this fight. Santos last fight came against Magomed Ankalaev in March of 2022 and he didn’t look awful in the fight, but he lost by unanimous decision. Two fights ago against Johnny Walker he was actually outstruck, but still secured the victory. Santos is averaging 3.77 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.37 significant strikes per minute. He is averaging 0.54 takedowns every 15 minutes and is successful on 36 percent of his takedown attempts. He also stops 66 percent of his opponent's takedown attempts. 

On the other side of this matchup is Jamahal Hill who sits with a 10-1 record overall and he also has a no contest earlier in his career. Hill has won two games in a row including his last fight against Johnny Walker. Each of his last two fights has ended in the first by a knockout. Hill is averaging 7.06 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 3.71 significant strikes per minute. Hill wants to keep the fight and is stopping 60 percent of his opponent's takedown attempts. Hill is going to stand and strike and he is going to be searching for the knockout early in this fight. 

On paper, this looks light a fight between two guys who are heading in different directions. Santos has really struggled, while Hill looks like he’s about to make a run for the top of the division. Hill has the reach advantage in this fight, and he is going to put the pressure on Santos early in this fight. I don’t see Santos having any answer for the power of Hill and that will be the difference as Hill gets the job done. Back Hill to win this fight by knockout. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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