Explosive light heavyweights headline the UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Hill card Saturday when former title challenger Thiago Santos takes on surging prospect Jamahal Hill in the main event. The main UFC fight card is set for 10 p.m. ET from the Apex facility in Las Vegas. The No. 6-ranked Santos is widely regarded as one of the best athletes the division has ever seen. But injuries and time have taken a toll and he has lost three of his past four since losing a close decision in a title fight against former champion Jon Jones in July 2019. Santos likely needs a win to maintain a top-10 ranking but it won’t come easy against the No. 10-ranked Hill, who has notched consecutive first-round knockouts against fellow prospects.
Hill is a -280 favorite (risk $280 to win $100), while Santos comes back at +240 in the latest UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Hill odds from Caesars Sportsbook. In the co-main event, welterweight contenders square off as Vicente Luque (-175) meets Geoff Neal (+155). Before locking in any UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Hill picks, make sure you check out the MMA predictions and betting advice from SportsLine expert Andrew Gombas.
Gombas is a former NCAA wrestler who taps into his experience on the mat to help understand and dissect the X’s and O’s of MMA matchups in a manner that sets him apart from other MMA analysts. He started the MMA handicapping service MMA Knockout Bets in 2018 and has shown a profit every year since.
With more than 1,400 selections tracked by the third-party monitoring service Bet MMA, he has shown a 6 percent return on investment for his followers. Over the past two years, his followers have netted a profit of more than $10,000.
At UFC 275 in June, Gombas swept the board with his main-card picks and the five-fight sweep included advising SportsLine members to back Jake Matthews (+125) against Andre Fialho (-145) in a matchup of welterweight prospects. Matthews dominated from the opening bell and scored a second-round stoppage to give Gombas’ backers another easy winner. Anyone who has followed Gombas already has seen massive returns.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Hill looming, Gombas has studied the card from every angle and released his top MMA picks. Gombas’ UFC Fight Night picks are only available at SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Hill preview
Santos (23-10) has headlined in five of his past six appearances, including his last two, but his time as a marquee attraction will likely come to an end should he come up short again Saturday.
The 38-year-old Brazilian has been involved in numerous memorable clashes and has a long list of notable victories, including a knockout over former champion Jan Blachowicz.
He also pushed Jones to the wire in their title fight at UFC 239 before dropping a split decision. He suffered knee injuries in that contest that required multiple surgeries and a 16-month layoff from the sport. Santos hasn’t looked the same since his return, with a lackluster decision over Johnny Walker last October accounting for his lone win in four appearances.
In many ways, Santos will be facing a younger version of himself in Hill (10-1-1), who has gone 4-1-1 in six UFC appearances. The 31-year-old Chicago native is similarly an explosive athlete who possesses lethal power and a variety of tools.
Hill’s lone UFC defeat came to veteran Paul Craig in June of last year, but he responded with first-round knockouts of Jimmy Crute and Walker. Hill will likely enter the top-five rankings and the title-fight conversation with another impressive victory. You can only see who to pick at UFC Fight Night here.
UFC Fight Night predictions
We’ll share one of Gombas’ UFC Fight Night selections here: He is siding with Ariane Lipski (-170) to get past Priscila Cachoeira (+150) in a battle of women’s flyweight prospects on the main card.
Lipski (14-7) is a former KSW promotion flyweight champion who came to the UFC on a nine-fight winning streak. The versatile Brazilian has had trouble getting traction in the UFC but is looking to build on a decision win over Mandy Bohm last September.
Cachoeira (11-4) is a fellow Brazilian and four-year UFC veteran who has won three of her past four fights. She received a Performance of the Night bonus for her decision victory against Ji Yeon Kim in February.
“Cachoeira is known to come forward and isn’t afraid of getting hit. I think this will primarily be a striking fight, in which Cachoeira’s willingness to engage will allow Lipski to pull away,” Gombas told SportsLine. See who else to pick here.
How to make UFC Fight Night picks
Gombas also has strong picks for Santos vs. Hill and other fights on the UFC Fight Night card. He’s also backing a fighter who “has a more diverse striking style” to emerge with a huge victory. Those UFC Fight Night picks are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Santos vs. Hill? And what other picks do you need to see? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed top picks on UFC Fight Night, all from the insider who’s up more than $10,000 on MMA picks the past two years, and find out.
UFC Fight Night odds, fight card
See full UFC Fight Night picks, predictions, best bets at SportsLine.
Jamahal Hill (-280) vs. Thiago Santos (+240)
Vicente Luque (-175) vs. Geoff Neal (+155)
Terrance McKinney (-900) vs. Erik Gonzalez (+600)
Sergey Spivak (-230) vs. Augusto Sakai (+190)
Michal Oleksiejczuk (-600) vs. Sam Alvey (+450)
Bryan Battle (-230) vs. Takashi Sato (+195)
Ariane Lipski (-170) vs. Priscila Cachoeira (+150)
Stephanie Egger (-125) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (+105)
Josh Quinlan (-220) vs. Jason Witt (+190)
Cory McKenna (-220) vs. Miranda Granger (+190)
Zac Pauga (-240) vs. Mohammed Usman (+200)
Julianna Miller (-120) vs. Brogan Walker (+100)