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Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Santos UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 9/22/18

Thiago Santos vs. Jimi Manuwa

UFC: Saturday, September 22, 2018 (Ginasio do Ibirapuera)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1

Jimi Manuwa and Thiago Santos fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 137 at the Ginasio do Ibirapuera.

Jimi Manuwa enters this fight with a 17-3 record and has won 88 percent of his fights by knockout. Manuwa has split his last six fights and is coming off a March loss to Jan Błachowicz. Manuwa is averaging 3.34 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 53.2 percent. Manuwa is averaging 0.58 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 21.4 percent. Manuwa is coming off a fight in which he landed 37 strikes and ate 124 strikes, losing a decision that earned fight of the night honors. It was the first time Manuwa has ever lost a fight outside of knockout, and despite the poor result, he showed his toughness in the losing effort. Manuwa is what he is, as he has an insane reach of 79 inches and 15 of his 17 victories have come by knockout. In fact, 18 of Manuwa’s 21 fights overall have ended in the stoppage, so there’s no secret the style of fight he wants. Manuwa is patient, a highly accurate striker and has possibly the most one-punch knockout potential in the sport. As long as Manuwa can get the stand up striking battle he wants, you have to like the 38 year olds chances to come out on top. This will be Manuwa’s first career fight in Brazil. 

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Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Santos UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 9/22/18

Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Thiago Santos enters this fight with a 18-6 record and has won 67 percent of his fights by knockout. Santos has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a August win over Kevin Holland. Santos is averaging 4.59 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 47.6 percent. Santos is averaging 0.85 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 33.3 percent. Santos is coming off a decision victory in which he landed 73 strikes and produced three takedowns. It was the first time Santos has won a fight outside of a knockout since his 2015 win over Elias Theodorou. This is a major quick turnaround for 34-year-old Santos, who just fought last month. Santos is quite the athlete in the octagon, as he has knockout striking power and loves being creative with that ability, which includes being extremely active with his kicks. Santos has won 10 of his last 12 fights by knockout and usually always has the advantage standing up. Santos has shown limited ground game on the UFC level, but he’s defending nearly 73 percent of takedowns, so he usually gets the fight he wants. Santos is also a well conditioned fighter and has won five of his six career decisions. Santos has fought most of his career in Brazil, his birthplace. 

This should be a fun, striking backyard type fight where it can end at any moment with one clean landed shot. Santos has the clear edge in terms of crowd and conditioning, but that won’t be enough to get the job done against the longer, stronger Manuwa. The American has a three-inch reach advantage and has more one-punch knockout potential. In a fight where both guys are likely going to get what they want offensively, you have to side with the fighter who does it better. Manuwa is the more effective knockout artist and has more pop in those hands.

Entertaining fight, but Manuwa gets the best of the Brazilian.

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