UFC Vegas 59 Fight Breakdown: Jamahal Hill vs. Thiago Santos


MMAOB staff writer Adam Martin takes a deeper look at the main event of UFC Vegas 59, a five-round light heavyweight bout between Jamahal Hill and Thiago Santos. The event takes place on Saturday, August 6 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jamahal Hill (-260)

Hill (10-1, 1 NC) is the No. 10 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. The 31-year-old American joined the UFC in 2020 and so far he is 4-1, 1 NC in the Octagon with four wins coming by way of knockout. He has defeated Johnny Walker, Jimmy Crute, and Ovince Saint Preux by stoppage, with his lone loss coming against Paul Craig. Hill is one of the most skilled and devastating power punchers at 205lbs right now in the UFC. If he catches his opponents in the right spot, they crumble. At this point, he looks like a serious threat to fight for the UFC light heavyweight title within the next year or two. He is quickly emerging as a contender at 205lbs, and if he can defeat Santos in this fight, it would put Hill in the position to fight a top-five opponent next in a potential title eliminator.

Thiago Santos (+220)

Santos (22-10) is the No. 6 ranked light heavyweight in the UFC. The 38-year-old Brazilian joined the UFC in 2013 and so far he is 14-9 in the Octagon with 11 wins coming by knockout. He has defeated some great fighters during his career including Jan Blachowicz, Anthony Smith, Jack Hermansson, Johnny Walker, and Kevin Holland. Most of his losses have come against top-level competition, although he’s had the occasional hiccup against lower-ranked foes. Overall, Santos has been one of the better light heavyweights in the UFC for several years now. He has been one of the best strikers in the weight class for years and he has finished some of the best fighters in the weight class. However, he appears to have lost a step at an older age. He has lost four of his last five fights, and now he takes on a young stud in Hill, which looks like a tough matchup on paper.

Fight Breakdown: This should be an exciting fight for as long as it lasts between two strikers that pack a lot of power. Santos has been one of the best light heavyweights (and middleweights) in the UFC for years, while Hill has come on strong over the last few years and has emerged as a star at 205lbs. I fully expect a striking battle here with little-to-no grappling, and I don’t think this fight goes the distance given the power these two men possess. While Santos was once a great fighter, I do believe he is in the decline phase of his career at age 38, and I’m looking to fade him against good fighters any chance I get. Hill certainly qualifies as a good fighter, an excellent one at that. He’s only 31 and he’s in the prime of his career and I believe he will win this fight in spectacular fashion. Give me Hill to beat Santos as I think he has the power to catch Santos on the chin and knock him out.

Prediction: Jamahal Hill

Written by Adam Martin.


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