Check out this weekend’s preview for the UFC light-heavyweight clash, Manuwa vs. Santos, with full betting tips and predictions.
The main card of UFC 231 will be opened by a light heavyweight showdown between veterans Jimi Manuwa and Thiago Santos. The bout will mark Santos’ second UFC bout at 205 pounds while for Manuwa, it is an opportunity to get back in the win column after two consecutive losses.
Betting Tips and Odds
Manuwa, at risk of back to back losses and supposedly fully recovered from a freak hamstring injury, isn’t selling his profile to the oddsmakers. Poster Boy to win offers sizeable odds of 2/1.
Santos is therefore favourite with odds of 1/2 for the outright win. The Brazilian is relatively new to light-heavyweight with a fine run of form behind him, making those slim odds look like a safe but unrewarding bet to jump on.
Santos to win outright
Santos is the favourite to win this match-up, which is likely due to his impressive win in the Octagon over the past two years. He has won six fights since 2017, with all but one of them coming via TKO/KO, a testament to his power.
In order to have his hand raised in this fight, Santos will need to pick his shots and continuously move, as Manuwa’s powerful strikes will overwhelm Santos if he is a stationary target. Manuwa has shown to be vulnerable to hard strikes, so Santos can easily knock Manuwa out if he can pick his shots well.
Manuwa to win outright
Manuwa is currently on a two-fight skid, having lost fights to Volkan Oedemir and Jan Blachowicz, and he has another major challenge on his hands in Santos. The Englishman possesses huge power in his diverse striking repertoire, but has also been vulnerable to being knocked out himself.
Because of that, he needs to stay on the outside against Santos and pepper him with the kicks and punches for which he is most effective. He needs to pick his shots well though in case the fight makes it to the second and third rounds, as Santos has proven to fight at the same speed and intensity for the whole three rounds.
Santos to win via TKO/KO
With nine of his 11 UFC wins coming via TKO/KO, Santos has unsurprisingly started to make a name from himself. The Brazilian certainly has the power and ability to finish Manuwa, who has lost three times (out of four total losses) via TKO or KO.
If Santos can stick to a game plan of constant movement and solid, strategic shots, he will likely be able to finish Manuwa, which could yield a good win fall for anyone willing to bet a few dollars on a TKO/KO victory.
Fight to go the distance
If there is anything Santos and Manuwa have in common, it is that they do not like their fights to go into the hands of the judges. There may be an initial ‘feeling out’ process at the start of the fight, given that both fighters know the power they each possess, but we believe this will not last long.
Both fighters are likely to be more comfortable in the second round, and the fight – in our eyes – will likely finish sometime during round two as one of the fighters will land a clean shot on the other and finish the fight soon after.
Fight Prediction – Santos via TKO
Both Manuwa and Santos are heavy hitters with a love of knocking their opponents out. However, Manuwa’s weaknesses play right into Santos’ strengths, and that is why we believe Santos will be able to finish Manuwa and win his second straight fight in the Light Heavyweight division.