- In the latest odds for UFC 259; Aleksandar Rakic -180 favorite, Thiago Santos +143.
- We review the fighter stats that can help with your prediction.
- Can “Marreta” come back from his current 2-loss fight skid?
Two former teammates in Aleksandar Rakic #4 ranked and Thiago Santos #2 ranked lightweight will step into the Octagon at UFC 259, set for March 6th.
Rakic vs Santos Odds
According to the latest UFC 259 odds, Rakic is a comfortable betting favorite. (Bet $180, win $100). As for Santos, the former title challenger the underdog (Bet $100, win $143).
In terms of UFC fight stats, these two lightweights are evenly enough matched. Rakic will have a two-inch reach advantage, while Santos has 40% takedown accuracy compared to Rakic at 28%.
On the feet Rakic has the more appealing stats, landing more significant strikes per minute and absorbing less than Santos. Personally, Santos has the more diverse arsenal of strikes to offer, but that could leave him more susceptible to getting finished.
Betting Value on Santos
Thiago Santos may have lost his last two fights, but it was only two fights ago that we went a full five rounds with Jon Jones. Santos showed his true heart and grit in that fight and prior to that was on a 3-fight winning streak.
In his last fight, Santos was a major betting favorite over Glover Teixeira, as high as -315 on some online sportsbooks. However, Santos overlooked the veteran Teixeira and was submitted in the third round by submission.
There are more unknowns about where Santo’s head is at entering this bout than Rakic. However, as the fight draws nearer and the betting line moves more in the direction of Rakic, it makes me like Santos as a live underdog even more.
Rakic a Different Animal Now
Aleksandar Rakic has been on a steamroll since entering the UFC in 2017. He’s now 5-1 in the UFC with a disappointing split decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir in 2019. Following that Rakic returned in 2020 and picked up a decision win over Anthony Smith.
Rakic and Santos have trained in the past. With Santos the older of the pair, could it be Rakic’s time to rise above Santos? I can certainly see Rakic using his kicks to deliver some damage to Santo’s legs.
The fact that Rakic doesn’t grapple much, means it will favor Santos who struggled against Glover due to a combination of strikes grappling, and ground game.
Who do you think gets their hand raised at UFC 259, Rakic or Santos? Comment below!