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UFC Fight Night Minneapolis: Ngannou vs Dos Santos Odds and Picks

UFC Fight Night Minneapolis Betting Odds

The UFC returns to the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the first time since 2012 and the card is headlined with a tilt in the heavyweight division. Knockout artists Francis “The Predator” Ngannou and Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos collide, with both looking to earn another title shot. The former champion, Dos Santos, is a +200 underdog with Ngannou coming back at -260. I have a breakdown and a pick for each fight on the main card.

Shark Bites
  • Francis Ngannou has seven T/KO wins in the UFC.
  • Junior Dos Santos is 15-4 in the UFC.
  • Junior Dos Santos averages 4.76 strikes per minute.
Scott Hastings’ 2019 Prediction Record To Date
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Ngannou vs Dos Santos Fight Center

Francis Ngannou vs Junior Dos Santos

Ngannou (-260) is looking to earn another shot at winning a championship and enters this fight as a winner in each of his last two fights. The Predator began his UFC career with six straight wins that resulted in him earning a title shot against Stipe Miocic but he lost that fight by unanimous decision. He lost his next fight to Derrick Lewis, also by decision, but has since rattled off back-to-back first-round knockouts over Curtis Blaydes and Cain Velasquez, needing just 61 seconds combined.

The 32-year-old has ridiculous power that puts his opponents in a bad way in a hurry. Of his eight wins in the Octagon, seven have been by knockout, including putting to sleep former champions Andrei Arlovski, Alistair Overeem and Cain Velasquez. Ngannou does have some issues in the wrestling department and Miocic dragged him to the mat six times and completely exhausted him over five rounds.

Dos Santos (+200) is having a resurgence in his career, picking up three straight wins, and is in the hunt to earn another title shot. Cigano lost his championship to Cain Velasquez at UFC 155 in 2012 and was on a win-one, lose-one streak over seven bouts, including that loss, before going on this most recent three-fight winning streak. In his last time in the cage, he earned a second-round knockout over Derrick Lewis.

The Brazil native is an excellent boxer with terrific footwork and fast hands. Dos Santos is aggressive, has good conditioning and has an output of 4.76 strikes per minute while only absorbing 3.07 strikes per minute. That being said, he doesn’t have great one-punch power but rather is quite accurate and throws punches in bunches, causing his opponents to wilt under the pressure.

What a main event! We have a great boxer with fast hands who likes to push the pace against one of the best knockout artists ever in the heavyweight division. There has been a lot of criticism of Ngannou regarding his conditioning after he was mauled by Miocic, but that was a grappling exchange and JDS hasn’t landed a takedown since 2014. I don’t think cardio is going to be an issue.

Prediction: Francis Ngannou (-260) via knockout

Ngannou vs Dos Santos Fight Center

Jussier Formiga vs Joseph Benavidez

Formiga (+150) is aiming to extend his four-fight winning streak and inch closer to a championship fight with Henry Cejudo. The Brazil native lost to Ray Borg by decision in 2017, his fourth loss in the Octagon, but has won four straight fights since then, including handing Deiveson Figueiredo the first loss of his career in March.

The 34-year-old is a very active and fast fighter but lacks power on his feet, having never earned a knockout in his pro career. Formiga’s main plan of attack is to get the fight to the floor and work toward a submission, with 10 of his 23 victories coming in that manner. He has a great double-leg shot, averages 1.97 takedowns per 15 minutes and has landed at least one takedown in nine of his 13 UFC bouts.

Benavidez (-185) has won his last two fights and is looking for his fourth winning streak of three or more fights in the UFC. The California native returned from a knee injury at UFC 225 last June and lost in a close split decision to Sergio Pettis, but he got back in the win column shortly after with a first-round knockout over Alex Perez in November and a unanimous-decision win over Dustin Ortiz in January.

The 34-year-old is a scrappy and intelligent fighter. He moves extremely well and if a fighter pressures him, he does a good job of reducing their mobility with leg kicks and is not afraid of biting down on his mouthpiece and letting his hands fly to gain their respect. His speed and footwork allow him to avoid 63 percent of his opponents’ strikes and he also stuffs 65 percent of takedown attempts.

This is a rematch from 2013 when Benavidez earned a first-round knockout over Formiga. Benavidez was taken down three times against Dustin Ortiz in January, which could be an issue in this fight if Formiga can drag him to the canvas, although Benavidez has never been submitted in his pro career. The California native will have a massive advantage on the feet as the Brazilian tends to overextend on his punches and lacks true power.

Prediction: Joseph Benavidez (-185) via decision

Formiga vs Benavidez Fight Center

Demian Maia vs Rocco Martin

Maia (-175) is attempting to string together consecutive wins for the first time since he won seven in a row from 2014 to 2017. The Brazil native had a three-fight losing slide recently but those defeats came against former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, current interim welterweight champ Colby Covington and current welterweight titleholder Kamaru Usman. Following that skid, Maia earned a first-round submission win over Lyman Good in February of this year.

Maia is an extremely dangerous submission artist, with half of his 26 professional wins ending in that manner. To put in perspective how good his grappling skills are, the 41-year-old has a 20-9 record in the UFC and in each of his wins he landed at least one takedown, holding a 20-2 record in the Octagon when he earns a takedown. That being said, he is 0-7 in bouts in which he doesn’t secure a takedown.

Martin (+145) is looking to extend his four-fight winning streak and continue to climb the welterweight rankings. The beginning of his UFC career didn’t go as planned as he dropped three of his first four fights, but he has won seven of his last eight since then, with his only defeat coming against Olivier Aubin-Mercier via split decision in 2017.

The 29-year-old stands a little flat-footed and tends to just throw one strike at a time, typically seeking the perfect strike to put his opponents away. He likes to throw a lot of leg kicks to try to slow down his opponents’ movements but that leaves him vulnerable to takedowns and he only stuffs 50 percent of attempts.

As is the case with every Demian Maia fight, can his opponents keep the fight standing? I’m not sure Martin will be able to keep Maia off of him as he was taken down three times in his fight with Sergio Moraes in March but was able to sweep off his back and get back to his feet. That being said, Maia is a different beast than Moraes and the outcome could be starkly different.

Prediction: Demian Maia (-175) via submission

Maia vs Martin Fight Center

Roosevelt Roberts vs Vinc Pichel

Roberts (-280) looks to remain undefeated and bring his record to 3-0 in the UFC and 9-0 overall. The 25-year-old earned a UFC contract with his second-round submission victory over Garrett Gross in Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series last summer and followed that up with back-to-back wins in the Octagon.

“The Predator” is a very explosive fighter who tends to look very calm and composed until he attacks forward. Roberts does a good job at avoiding strikes and timing his takedowns as he averages 2.77 takedowns per 15 minutes and hits 62 percent of his attempts. On the feet, he is very accurate, landing 62 percent of his strikes at 3.88 strikes per minute.

Pichel (+220) is attempting to avoid his first-ever losing streak as he enters the Octagon for the first time since his second-round submission loss to Gregor Gillespie in June of last year. Prior to that defeat, “From Hell” had a four-fight winning streak from 2014 to 2018. Both of his losses in the UFC have been finishes, once to Gillespie and in his Octagon debut against Rustam Khabilov in 2012.

The 36-year-old is an aggressive fighter who likes to get in his opponent’s face and let his hands fly. He throws all of his strikes with bad intentions and eight of his 11 professional wins have come by knockout. Takedowns are a bit of an issue for him, though, as he only stuffs 20 percent of takedown attempts and was dragged to the floor seven times in his loss to Gillespie last June.

This is going to be a step up in competition for Roberts with a dangerous striker in Pichel. That being said, From Hell has proven to have issues defending takedowns and half of The Predator’s victories have come by submission. Additionally, Pichel tends to get a little wild with his strikes if he’s not having early success and Roberts is quite shifty and could frustrate him.

Prediction: Roosevelt Roberts (-280) via submission

Roberts vs Pichel Fight Center

Drew Dober vs Marco Polo Reyes

Dober (-350) is aiming to get back on track following his second-round submission loss to Beneil Dariush in March. The Nebraska native was on a three-fight winning streak prior to this most recent defeat. Overall, he is 6-5 with one no contest over his 12 bouts in the Octagon.

The 30-year-old enjoys getting in phone booth-style fights and exchanging hands with his opponents. He lands 4.33 strikes per minute but also absorbs 4.14 strikes per minute. He has little fear in these wild fights as he has only been knocked out once in his career and it came in 2011.

Reyes (+265) returns to the Octagon for the first time since his second-round knockout loss to Damir Hadzovic in February of this year. That was just the second defeat over his six-fight UFC career so far and five of those bouts have ended in a knockout. He won his first three fights in the Octagon but is 1-2 in his last three.

“El Toro” is predominantly a counter-striker and has real power in his hands, with six of his eight professional wins ending in knockout. However, his chin doesn’t always help him out in exchanges as three of his five pro losses have also ended in that manner. Additionally, the Mexico native is sometimes a little slow to react to punches coming at him, but he does a good job at firing back with combinations rather than one strike at a time.

This could be a wild brawl that may take no time to finish. Both men like to get in their opponent’s face and let their hands fly. However, Dober does average nearly one takedown per 15 minutes and if Reyes is getting the better of him on the feet, he may drag the fight there as he does have six submission victories on his record.

Prediction: Drew Dober (-350) via decision

Dober vs Reyes Fight Center

Alonzo Menifield vs Paul Craig

Menifield (-305) lays his perfect 8-0 record on the line and attempts to win his second fight in the UFC. The Texas native earned a contract following his eight-second knockout win over Dashawn Boatwright in Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series last June. He followed that performance up with another first-round knockout, this time against Vinicius Moreira in January.

The 31-year-old typically wastes no time throwing his hands and getting in his opponent’s face immediately. He has crisp accurate strikes that find his target nearly at will. Menifield doesn’t do a great job mixing up his strikes as he sticks mostly to a long jab followed by a powerful straight. However, seven of his eight wins have been by knockout, so why fix what isn’t broke?

Craig (+235) is looking to pick up his first winning streak in the UFC following his late third-round submission win over Kennedy Nzechukwu in March. “Bearjew” is 3-3 in the UFC with none of those fights going to the judges’ scorecards. His three wins were all by submission, while two of his losses were by knockout and one by submission.

The Scotland native doesn’t pose much of a threat on his feet with just one knockout victory on his record and that came in 2014. Craig rushes forward following long jabs aiming to close the distance to get his hands on his foes to get them to the floor. He does a good job at pulling guard if he doesn’t earn the takedown on his own and of his 11 pro wins, 10 have ended in submission.

Menifield’s submission skills will be put to the test in this fight if he isn’t able to stuff Craig’s takedown attempts. He was able to defend a takedown against Moreira in January but the way Craig pulls guard could create a tricky situation. On the flip side, two of Craig’s three pro losses have been by knockout and both came in the UFC as he doesn’t have many techniques to do damage on the feet.

Prediction: Paul Craig (+235) via submission

Menifield vs Craig Fight Center

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for UFC Fight Night Minneapolis: Ngannou vs Dos Santos:

UFC Fight Night Minneapolis: Ngannou vs Dos Santos 
  • Francis Ngannou -260
  • Junior Dos Santos +200
Odds as of June 25 at Bovada
  • Jussier Formiga +150
  • Joseph Benavidez -185
  • Demian Maia -175
  • Rocco Martin +145
  • Roosevelt Roberts -280
  • Vinc Pichel +220
  • Drew Dober -350
  • Marco Polo Reyes +265 
  • Alonzo Menifield -305
  • Paul Craig +235
  • Ricardo Ramos -305
  • Journey Newson +235
  • Eryk Anders -350
  • Vinicius Castro +265
  • Jordan Griffin -360
  • Vince Murdock +270
  • Jared Gordon -350
  • Dan Moret +265
  • Dalcha Lungiambula -115 
  • Justin Ledet -115
  • Emily Whitmire -175
  • Amanda Ribas +145
  • Maurice Greene -125
  • Junior Albini -105