Junior dos Santos vs. Blagoy Ivanov UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 7/14/18
Blagoy Ivanov vs. Junior dos Santos
UFC: Saturday, July 14, 2018 (CenturyLink Arena)
The Line: Ivanov +155 / dos Santos -175 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
Junior dos Santos and Blagoy Ivanov fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 133 at the CenturyLink Arena.
Junior dos Santos enters this fight with a 18-5 record and has won 72 percent of his fights by knockout. dos Santos has split his last eight fights and is coming off a May loss to Stipe Miocic. dos Santos is averaging 4.89 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 49.1 percent. dos Santos is averaging 0.41 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 62.5 percent. It’s been a while since we’ve seen dos Santos in the octagon, as he was expected to fight Francis Ngannou back in September but was dealing with a potential USADA violation. dos Santos hopes to bounce back after losing the UFC Heavyweight Championship and hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. dos Santos is what he is, as he relies heavily on his stand up striking and his boxing background, and majority of his victories have come via punches. dos Santos is deadly when he’s able to pressure his opponent and is letting his hands go. However, dos Santos has been knocked out in each of his last three losses, so his chin is suspect and does make him a risky bet if he’s caught in a fight where they’re trading punches. This will be dos Santos’ first career fight in Idaho.
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Blagoy Ivanov enters this fight with a 16-1-1 record and has won 38 percent of his fights by knockout. Ivanov has won each of his last five fights and is coming off a November win over Caio Alencar. Ivanov will make his UFC debut after successfully defending the PFL Heavyweight Championship multiple times and making some noise on the Bellator level before that. Ivanov hasn’t lost since his 2014 bout against Alexander Volkov, which was in the Bellator Season Ten Heavyweight Tournament Final. Ivanov has many notable wins on his resume and is purely a striker with a boxing background, power in both hands and the ability to counter well. Ivanov also has six submission victories under his belt, so he can hold his own on the canvas if needed. Ivanov isn’t your typical UFC rookie who will need time to adjust, as he’s been around the block a bit and has the proven skill set to quickly move up the heavyweight division if given the chance. This will be Ivanov’s first career fight in Idaho.
Ivanov is a live underdog in this match given the fact he has several wins over quality fighters and has more balance to his attack. Yes, Ivanov is a striker at heart and is at his best standing up, but six submission wins as a heavyweight is nothing to sneeze at. He clearly knows his way around the octagon. However, dos Santos is the safer bet, as he has a four inch reach advantage and is the better pure striker. He puts combinations together cleaner and has a much higher knockout percentage. In a striking battle, which this will likely be, Cigano has the edge.
Give me dos Santos in this intriguing fight.