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UFC Fight Night 166: Blaydes vs dos Santos Odds and Picks

UFC Fight Night 166 Odds and Picks

For the first time in UFC history, the Octagon will be set up at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is also the first time the UFC has gone to North Carolina since January 2018 and headlining the card is a heavyweight bout between Curtis “Razor” Blaydes and Junior “Cigano” dos Santos. Riding a two-fight winning streak, it is Blaydes who is the -260 favorite for this fight with dos Santos coming back at +200. I have UFC fight analysis and a pick for each fight on the main card.

UFC Fight Night 166: Blaydes vs dos Santos
  • Date/Time: January 25, 8 p.m. ET
  • Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Arena: PNC Arena
  • Where to Watch: ESPN+

Curtis Blaydes vs Junior dos Santos

After closing out 2018 with a first-round loss to Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes (-260) was perfect in 2019, earning wins over Justin Willis and Shamil Abdurakhimov in fine fashion. Looking to halt Blaydes’ two-fight winning streak is Junior dos Santos (+200), who is back in action for the first time since his first-round knockout loss to Ngannou last June. The former champ has been dealing with a leg injury which has led to the time off.

Blaydes is one of the best grappling heavyweights in the organization right now, averaging 7.05 takedowns per 15 minutes, and has landed 30 takedowns combined over his last six fights. On the floor, he has an aggressive ground and pound that few can survive, leading to nine T/KO victories to his name. Getting JDS to the floor may prove to be a difficult task, though, as Cigano stuffs 80 percent of takedown attempts and hasn’t been taken down since 2014 against Stipe Miocic. Dos Santos prefers to keep the fight standing so he can utilize his tremendous boxing that sees him average 4.76 significant strikes per minute.

Prediction: Curtis Blaydes (-260) via knockout

Curtis Blaydes vs Junior dos Santos Betting Odds
Curtis Blaydes-260
Junior dos Santos+200

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada

Rafael dos Anjos vs Michael Chiesa

The former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos (-265), has been struggling to find success recently, dropping three of his last four fights. Granted, those came against the current welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman, former interim champion Colby Covington and most recently Leon Edwards – tough stretch. Conversely, Michael “Maverick” Chiesa (+205) finds himself on a two-fight winning streak since making the jump from lightweight to welterweight and has looked good in those bouts.

Chiesa looks big and strong at welterweight, securing nine takedowns in his two bouts there and outstriking his opponents 57-12. That said, those victories came against journeymen Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez, so it’s hard to really gauge his improvements, but he looked dominant nonetheless. Meanwhile, stuffing takedowns has been a tough task at welterweight for dos Anjos, getting dragged to the floor 29 times over seven bouts, but 19 of those came in the Covington and Usman fights. RDA is known for incredible conditioning that has seen him push a high pace for the duration of a bout, but he likes to do so standing.

Prediction: Michael Chiesa (+205) via decision

Rafael dos Anjos vs Michael Chiesa Betting Odds
Rafael dos Anjos-265
Michael Chiesa+205

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada

Jordan Espinosa vs Alex Perez

Jordan Espinosa (+205) is looking to get back in the win column after having his five-fight winning streak snapped his last time out against Matt Schnell in August. Prior to that, Espinosa had three finishes during his win streak, two of them coming in Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, which earned him a UFC contract. He’s in tough, though, against Alex Perez (-265), who has won nine of his last 10 bouts, falling only to Joseph Benavidez via first-round knockout in November 2018.

Espinosa is a very active fighter who does a lot of moving and bouncing around on the outside of his opponents’ range before storming in with a powerful strike or combination. He tends to telegraph his strikes because he storms in from quite a distance, hoping his speed will allow him to land his powerful strike first. Perez, on the other hand, is an aggressive fighter but doesn’t waste a ton of energy by bouncing around. Instead, he just walks forward looking to get in a phone-booth style of fight. When he’s in tight in a striking exchange, he has outstanding reflexes and head movement that allows him to avoid absorbing major damage. Perez’s main objective is to get the fight to the floor as he averages 3.13 takedowns per 15 minutes.

Prediction: Alex Perez (-265) via decision

Jordan Espinosa vs Alex Perez Betting Odds
Jordan Espinosa+205
Alex Perez-265

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada

Hannah Cifers vs Angela Hill

After dropping her UFC debut to Maycee Barber, Hannah “Shockwave” Cifers (+150) rebounded with consecutive decision victories in 2019. Looking to get on a winning streak of her own is Angela “Overkill” Hill (-185) after scoring a third-round knockout win over Ariane Carnelossi in September. Hill hasn’t had consecutive wins since she won four in a row while in Invicta in 2016.

Shockwave is a very patient fighter who remains on her back foot for the early stages of the fight as she gets her timing down on her opponent before going on the attack. Due to her calculated approach, she can be a little gun-shy in letting her hands fly but when she does engage, her strikes have some heat behind them. A similar story can be written about Overkill, who often talks about getting in these wars but can often be seen retreating from her opponents while pawing a jab at them. Her hands are fast when she does decide to let them go, but there isn’t a ton of power behind them.

Prediction: Hannah Cifers (+150) via decision

Angela Hill vs Hannah Cifers Betting Odds
Angela Hill-185
Hannah Cifers+150

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada

Jamahal Hill vs Darko Stosic

Undefeated Jamahal “Sweet Dreams” Hill (-125) kicks off the main card as he lays a 6-0 record on the line. Hoping to put a 1 in the loss column for Hill and pull out of a two-fight losing skid of his own is Darko Stosic (-105). Hill is making his UFC debut after earning a contract with his second-round knockout win over Alexander Poppeck in Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series last July. Stosic’s UFC career began with a first-round knockout win over Jeremy Kimball but he has since lost his last two fights by decision.

Hill throws all his strikes with bad intentions, often showing little respect for his opponents’ power as he backs them against the cage with a calm demeanor before going on the all-out attack. He works well behind his kicks, which he throws to the body and head frequently at range. Defensively, though, he keeps his hands low and tries to avoid head strikes by bending at the hips rather than moving his feet. Stosic is a little more active on his feet, quickly moving toward his foe, landing a strike and getting out before getting hit, and he keeps his hands very high to block any head strikes. His conditioning is a cause for concern. When he is pressured, like Hill will do, he tends to shell up and not throw back and his movements become much slower.

Prediction: Jamahal Hill (-125) via decision

Jamahal Hill vs Darko Stosic Betting Odds
Jamahal Hill-125
Darko Stosic-105

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada

Here’s a look at the full list of odds for UFC Fight Night 166: Blaydes vs dos Santos:

Bevon Lewis vs Dequan Townsend Betting Odds
Bevon Lewis-450
Dequan Townsend+325

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada

Arnold Allen vs Nik Lentz Betting Odds
Arnold Allen-270
Nik Lentz+210

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada

Justine Kish vs Lucie Pudilova Betting Odds
Justine Kish+140
Lucie Pudilova-170

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada

Montel Jackson vs Felipe Colares Betting Odds
Montel Jackson-700
Felipe Colares+450

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada

Sara McMann vs Lina Lansberg Betting Odds
Sara McMann-155
Lina Lansberg+125

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada

Brett Johns vs Tony Gravely Betting Odds
Brett Johns-115
Tony Gravely-115

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada

Herbert Burns vs Nate Landwehr Betting Odds
Herbert Burns-110
Nate Landwehr-120

Odds as of January 24 at Bovada