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UFC Fight Night: Blachowicz vs Santos Betting Odds and Predictions

UFC Fight Night Prague: Blachowicz vs Santos

The UFC is making its first-ever trip to the Czech Republic as the Octagon will be set up at the O2 Arena in Prague. Headlining the card is a battle in the light heavyweight division as Jan Blachowicz stands toe to toe with Thiago “Marreta” Santos. A winning streak will come to an end as Blachowicz has won four straight while Santos has a three-fight winning streak and this fight is a -115 pick’em. I have a breakdown and a pick for each fight on the main card.

Shark Bites
  • Thiago Santos has finished 15 of his 20 professional wins.
  • Jan Blachowicz averages 1.59 takedowns per three-round fight.
  • Thiago Santos averages 5.02 significant strikes per minute.

Jan Blachowicz vs Thiago Santos Fight Center

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Odds Analysis

I think the odds are set correctly for this fight as it features two guys who are on terrific streaks, but doing it in different ways. Santos has been letting his heavy strikes fly as six of his last seven wins have come by knockout. Meanwhile, Blachowicz hasn’t earned a knockout victory since 2014 but has ended two of the bouts during his current four-fight winning streak by submission.

Jan Blachowicz vs Thiago Santos

Blachowicz (-115) is looking to extend his four-fight winning streak, his longest since he joined the UFC in 2014. The Poland native won two of those fights by submission and two by decision and hasn’t earned a knockout victory since his debut against Ilir Latifi in 2014. That being said, he does have power in his hands as he dropped Jimi Manuwa in the first round when they met in March of last year, but he ultimately won the fight by decision.

The 35-year-old does a good job in tight with his opponents, with dirty boxing and Muay Thai strikes. But when he’s at long range, he throws long, somewhat wild combinations looking to close the distance and look for a takedown. Blachowicz’s four losses in the UFC have all come via decision, including a unanimous decision loss to Alexander Gustafsson in 2016.

Santos (-115) is eyeing his second four-fight winning streak since the start of 2017, having just a first-round knockout loss to David Branch that has separated the two streaks. Overall, the Brazilian is 11-3 in his last 14 UFC bouts, with nine of his wins ending in knockout. Two of his three losses have come in the same fashion with the third by submission.

“Marreta” is an explosive fighter who marches forward throwing with 100 percent power on each of his punches, which is why eight of his 14 knockouts have come in the first round. However, due to his wild hooks and flashy kicks, his pace slows considerably as the round progresses and he is susceptible to straight punches.

Blachowicz throws a nice left jab that keeps his opponents at bay and then will sit down on his powerful right, while Santos has thunder in both hands and fires from the hip, but also has very strong kicks. I think if Blachowicz sticks to his punches down the pipe and doesn’t overextend himself, he should be able to pick up rounds.

Prediction: Jan Blachowicz (-115) via decision

Blachowicz vs Santos Fight Center

Stefan Struve vs Marcos Rogerio de Lima

Struve (+110) is aiming to put an end to his career-long three-fight losing slide, eyeing his first victory since his submission victory over Daniel Omielanczuk at UFC 204 in 2016. Over the skid, the “Skyscraper” lost by unanimous decision in his two most recent bouts, while getting knocked out by Alexander Volkov in September 2017.

The Netherlands native towers over his opponents, standing seven feet tall, but doesn’t use his reach that accompanies his size, allowing foes to get inside their range and do damage of their own. That being said, if his counterparts get close to him, he can get the fight to the floor to work toward a submission, as he has 17 victories in that manner to his name.

Rogerio de Lima (-140) is striving to put an end to his win-one, lose-one streak over his last seven fights since he joined the UFC in 2014. Most recently, “Pezao” returned to heavyweight after six bouts at light heavyweight, two of which he missed the 206-pound limit. In his return with the big boys, he earned a unanimous decision win over Adam Wieczorek at UFC 230 in November.

That decision triumph was just the second in that manner over his 16 professional wins. Eleven have come by knockout, while the other three were by submission. All three of his defeats in the Octagon have come by submission. Rogerio de Lima constantly stalks his prey, moving forward looking for opportunities to let his hands fly. However, he only has a 40 percent takedown defense, but on the floor has good enough jiu-jitsu to tie up his opponents and reverse positions.

Struve is 10 inches taller than Rogerio de Lima and will have a significant reach advantage, although as mentioned he doesn’t use that advantage well and if he decides to get into wild exchanges, he will be in trouble. I think the Skyscraper has a massive edge on the floor, but he only lands 50 percent of his takedown attempts.

Prediction: Marcos Rogerio de Lima (-140) via knockout

Struve vs Rogerio de Lima Fight Center

Gian Villante vs Michal Oleksiejczuk

Villante (+165) is seeking consecutive triumphs for the first time since he beat Sean O’Connell in June 2014 and Corey Anderson in April 2015. The New York native has been in four straight split decisions, having his hand raised in two of them and leaving the other two in defeat. The 33-year-old has had 10 of his 17 professional wins by knockout, while four of his 10 losses have come the same way.

Villante likes to get in a phone booth and chuck hands as he lands 4.25 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 5.31 per minute. He defends 83 percent of takedown attempts, forcing the fight to stay standing.

Oleksiejczuk (-205) returns to the Octagon for the first time since December 2017 after sitting on the sideline with a one-year suspension following a failed drug test after his unanimous decision win over Khalil Rountree at UFC 219. “Lord” had won nine straight fights before the no contest – eight of them were finishes and seven came by knockout.

The 23-year-old has constant forward pressure while having herky-jerky head movements that makes him hard to time. He always has his hands high and his chin low, causing many of his opponents’ strikes to just glance off his arms, and he fires back by averaging 5.07 significant strikes per minute.

This has fight of the night candidate written all over it – two warriors who are going to meet in the middle and exchange hands. Oleksiejczuk did show that he has good takedowns in his fight with Rountree, which is a tool he may need if he is getting tagged by Villante. Both fighters have real knockout power and that’s the way I think this fight will go.

Prediction: Michal Oleksiejczuk (-205) via knockout

Villante vs Oleksiejczuk Fight Center

Liz Carmouche vs Lucie Pudilova

Carmouche (-145) enters the Octagon for the ninth time and is aiming for her fourth win over her last five fights. “Girlrilla” has gone to the judges’ scorecards in six straight bouts, winning three and losing three. Most recently, she earned a dominant decision over Jennifer Maia last July.

The 35-year-old is extremely strong for the division and when she gets her hands on her opponent, the fight usually will hit the floor. Carmouche averages 2.95 takedowns per 15 minutes and has landed multiple takedowns in each of her last five bouts. On the mat, she rains down vicious ground and pound.

Pudilova (+115) is looking to avoid her first-ever losing streak as she is coming off a narrow split decision loss to Irene Aldana at UFC 228. “Bullet” has gone the distance in each of her UFC bouts, winning two and losing two, but has never in her career dropped back-to-back fights.

The Czech Republic native has really good movement, always bouncing around looking to get her opponents to throw a strike so she can follow up with a counter-strike. The 24-year-old has a great chin as well. In the Aldana fight, she ate some pretty heavy shots and continued to move forward looking to land her fast hands.

I think Pudilova’s takedown defense is really going to be put to the test and if she can’t keep Carmouche off her, it could be a long night. However, it might be difficult for Girlrilla to get her hands on Bullet because she is very quick and moves around the Octagon nicely. A classic striker vs grappler match.

Prediction: Liz Carmouche (-145) via decision

Carmouche vs Pudilova Fight Center

John Dodson vs Petr Yan

Dodson (+230) is looking to avoid his first-ever slide as he enters the Octagon on a win-one, lose-one streak over his last eight fights. Most recently, he fell via unanimous decision to Jimmie Rivera at UFC 228. That was his fifth consecutive bout to go to the judges’ scorecards.

“The Magician” is very fast and does a fantastic job at getting close to his opponent to land a strike and then getting out quickly enough to avoid any damage. Due to this speed, he is able to avoid 63 percent of strikes against and he has never been finished in his career, with all 10 of his losses coming by decision.

Yan (-300) aims to remain undefeated in the UFC, having rattled off three straight wins in the Octagon, including two by knockout. Most recently, he showed off his grappling skills against Douglas Silva de Andrade at UFC 232, taking him down three times before a corner stoppage at the end of the second round.

The 26-year-old puts a ridiculous pace on his opponents with very fast hands that have power in them, but he also has the ability to drag fights to the floor and does damage from a ground and pound. “No Mercy” has only one loss on his record and that came by split decision in 2015. Since then, he has picked up six wins in a row, three by knockout.

Both fighters have really good speed and cardio to last three full rounds keeping a high pace. Additionally, both have good takedown defense but Yan has a better wrestling offensive game. I think Yan also has better power, but hitting Dodson isn’t an easy thing to do with his great ability to avoid strikes.

Prediction: Petr Yan (-300) via decision

Dodson vs Yan Fight Center

Magomed Ankalaev vs Klidson Abreu

Ankalaev (-225) eyes another winning streak after suffering his first professional loss in March of last year. The Russia native had won eight consecutive bouts before being submitted by Paul Craig but got back in the win column in his next fight by taking little time to knock out Marcin Prachnio in September.

The 26-year-old has thunder in his hands that has resulted in five of his nine professional wins ending by knockout, including his last four in a row. Ankalaev marches forward but rarely throws the first strike, rather standing just outside of his opponents’ range so he can easily counter and swarm them. He also defends 70 percent of strikes thrown at him.

Abreu (+175) is making his Octagon debut and brings a 14-2 record. Most recently, he has picked up six consecutive wins, five by submission and one by TKO doctor stoppage. The 26-year-old has never gone to the decision, with his two losses coming by knockout, while 10 of his 14 wins have been submissions and the other four by T/KO.

“Urso Branco” is extremely strong when he gets his hands on his opponents, slamming them to the mat seemingly with ease. Once the fight hits the floor, he will soften them up with ground and pound looking to secure a submission or continue to rain down punches to look for the TKO.

We have another striker vs grappler matchup as Ankalaev is going to want to keep this fight standing where he can sit down on some punches to do damage. Meanwhile, Abreu will do what he can to close the distance and slam Ankalaev to the mat and work toward a submission. Both men have lost where the other excels!

Prediction: Klidson Abreu (+175) via submission

Ankalaev vs Abreu Fight Center

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

UFC Fight Night: Blachowicz vs Santos

Odds as of February 21 at Bovada

  • Jan Blachowicz -115
  • Thiago Santos -115
  • Stefan Struve +110
  • Marcos Rogerio de Lima -140
  • Gian Villante +165
  • Michal Oleksiejczuk -205
  • Liz Carmouche -140
  • Lucie Pudilova +115
  • John Dodson +230
  • Petr Yan -300
  • Magomed Ankalaev -225
  • Klidson Abreu +175
  • Carlo Pedersoli Jr. -155
  • Dwight Grant +125
  • Daniel Teymur +195
  • Chris Fishgold -250
  • Veronica Macedo +135
  • Gillian Robertson -165
  • Damir Hadzovic -120
  • Polo Reyes -110
  • Michel Prazeres -450
  • Ismail Naurdiev +325
  • Rustam Khabilov -150
  • Carlos Diego Ferreira +120
  • Damir Ismagulov -270
  • Joel Alvarez +210