Texiera vs Santos is set to headline an extra fun UFC Fight Night card on Saturday
Story of the card: The main event sorts out a potential next title challenger at Light Heavyweight and the rest of the card is filled with Big Boy MMA and fun prospects. Plus some matchups that should highlight exciting up and coming fighters. In the prelims we’ve got Alexander Romanov looking to become the other hot heavyweight prospect on this card. Giga Chikadze looks to improve to 4-0 in 2020 against Jamey Simmons. Finally on the main card Brendan Allen looks to get closer to the top 15 at Middleweight against talented veteran Ian Heinisch.
UFC Fight Night Best Bets and Top Props
Marcos Rogerio de Lima vs. Alexander Romanov
A heavyweight bout, Marcos “Pezoa” Rogerio de Lima takes on undefeated Alexander “King Kong” Romanov of Moldova. This should be a fight that really showcases what the heavyweight division is all about, flawed fighters with horrifying power and the ability for momentum to shift on a dime.
Pezoa hits notably HARD, even in a division where everyone hits hard. He also makes boneheaded decisions like getting tapped out by attempting to grapple Stefan Struve in the 2nd round when he had been having his way on the feet through the entire 1st round. Romanov debuted in the UFC September 12th. Romanov, originally slated to face Pezoa, fought Roque Martinez and looked dominant. His big win announced him as a prospect to watch in the Heavyweight ranks.
These are big boys who both often finish their opponents so I see this fight going one of two ways. Either Pezoa catches Romanov and knocks him out or once again shows questionable decision making in the cage and allows himself to end up on his back with Romanov who will ground and pound or club and sub his way to a finish. This is a fight where if you can find one I’d take the prop for this to end via finish.
Number to know- 0 Decision victories for Alexander Romanov. It’s safe to say Romanov goes for the finish in his fights and after looking so dominant in his UFC debut I’d feel good about him getting the finish here.
The Pick: I just don’t trust Rogerio de Lima to make good decisions and in heavyweight MMA more often than not one or two mistakes can cost you the fight. I’ll take the big moneyline favorite here with Alexander Romanov to win for -325 at PointsBet Sportsbook.
Giga Chikadze vs Jamey Simmons
This year we’ve previewed Gigi Chikadze fights twice and both times he has come through. Giga is 3-0 this year in the UFC. The former GLORY kickboxer is a stud on the feet and has developed some counter wrestling chops as well. He’s fighting Jamey Simmons, a fighter who debuted as a pro in 2017 and has a record of 7-2. Jamey Simmons is a decent enough fighter, finishing 4 of his 7 wins via knockout. Watching some of Jamey’s fights though his standup is much less technical than Giga’s and he sometimes gasses late in fights. I think Giga should steamroll him on the feet and this is one of the safer bets on the card, the odds are high but it’s a worth it for a parlay or a knockout prop if you can find it.
The Pick: Giga Chikadze continues to roll at -430 at most of our top online sportsbooks.
Top Prop: Giga Chikadze via knockout.
Number to know: Zero is the the number of UFC fights under the belt of Jamey Simmons.
Ian Heinisch vs Brendan Allen
Ian Heinisch vs Brendan Allen should be a fun matchup in the Middleweight division. Brendan Allen is a hot rising prospect at just 24 years old with 3 wins in the UFC. Allen takes on UFC vet Ian Heinisch who has been inactive this year but won his last fight in the octagon against Gerald Meerschaert. Heinisch isn’t a hugely dangerous fighter but he’s a good test for Brendan Allen.
Allen has defeated some notable prospects at Middleweight including Tom Breese and MMA twitter darling Kevin Holland. This opportunity to fight a seasoned veteran feels like the right next step. As far as how the fight plays out Allen has heavy hands and a coherent gameplan on the feet but his goal is to take the fight to the ground. He’s got the ability to submit opponents and his takedowns work nicely. Ian Heinisch is a veteran in the true sense of the word, he’s competent, knows what to do and when he’s in trouble and will punish Allen for any mistakes. I think this fight is a referendum on how you feel about Allen as a prospect.
The Pick: To my eyes Allen looks like an exciting prospect headed towards the top 15 so I see him getting the win here. Give me Allen to win for -110 at DraftKings.
Top Prop: Allen to win via submission.
Number to know: 24 is Brendan Allen’s age. He’s still a pup in MMA who should be improving all the time and potentially showing new parts of his game.
Glover Texiera vs Thiago Santos
The main event this week highlights an underrated MMA great. Glover Texiera has seen it all and somehow at 41 years old is ranked 3rd in the light heavyweight division. This week he takes on Thiago Santos who is the definition of chaotic violence. Glover is a top notch wrestler who has a pretty complete game. He’s on a 4 fight win streak including a vicious beatdown of former title challenger Anthony Smith.
Glover has shown a ton of tenacity in his last few fights, weathering adversity before coming back to finish his opponents. His opponent, Thiago Santos, is one of my favorite fighters to watch in the MMA. He fights exactly how you think a man with a huge tattoo of a hammer on his chest would fight. Santos is huge, athletic, and capable of bursts of incredible violence. Since his move up to LHW he’s shown some technical improvements and gave Jon Jones a run for his money in his title fight at UFC 239. Thiago blew out his knee early in that fight and still fought very well so if he’s healed up and can return to form he could be a legitimate title threat at 205. Texiera is a stud and has an incredible career to look back on however I think Santos is just too young and too powerful for him at this point.
The Pick: I think Santos puts together a flurry and knocks out Glover on his way back to a 205 lb title shot. Even with odds around -230, I’ll take Thiago Santos to win on Fight Night.
Top Prop: No props on the online books for this fight yet. Check back for updates.
Number to know: 4. That’s the number of rounds Santos Jon Jones on essentially one functioning leg. The guy is a savage and I think a dark horse to the champ eventually.
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