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Derrick Lewis vs. Junior dos Santos - 3/9/19 UFC on ESPN+ 4 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Derrick Lewis vs. Junior dos Santos
Date & Time Saturday March 9, 2019, 10:30 PM (EST)
Location
Intrust Bank Arena
Wichita, Kansas
The Line
The Line: dos Santos -229 / Lewis +201 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
ESPN+
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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Lewis and Junior dos Santos fight Saturday during UFC on ESPN+ 4 at the Intrust Bank Arena.

Derrick Lewis enters this fight with a 21-6 record and has won 86 percent of his fights by knockout. Lewis has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a November loss to Daniel Cormier. Lewis is averaging 2.76 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 51 percent. Lewis is averaging 0.49 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 24 percent. Lewis was submitted for the first time in his career, a bout he lost for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. The good news for Lewis is that he’s never lost back-to-back fights in his career. There’s no surprises with Lewis when he steps into the octagon, as he’s a powerful striker who has produced knockouts in 16 of his last 18 wins. Lewis usually rushes in with combinations and finishes with a vicious ground and pound if needed. Lewis can also mix in a leg kick once in awhile and uses his knees in the clinch, so he’s not completely a one-trick pony. The knock on Lewis over the years has been his conditioning, but he’s won each of the last three fights that went to the third round, so those concerns may not be as big as they once were. This will be Lewis’ first career fight in Kansas.

Junior dos Santos enters this fight with a 20-5 record and has won 70 percent of his fights by knockout. dos Santos has won five his last nine fights and is coming off a December win over Tai Tuivasa. dos Santos is averaging 4.78 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 48 percent. dos Santos is averaging 0.35 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 56 percent. dos Santos has now won back-to-back fights since losing to Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship, and he hopes to win three straight fights for the first time since 2011-12. dos Santos at one point used to be one of the scariest fighters in the sport with his one-strike knockout potential and his ridiculous counter ability. dos Santos is great at finding the opening of his opponents attack and landing that one strike that changes everything. dos Santos certainly can’t be underestimated, as the accuracy is still there and the pop hasn’t completely faded. However, dos Santos is now 35 years old, was caught taking PEDs and some would say he’s not the same fighter he was years ago. In fact, dos Santos has just two knockout wins in his last nine fights overall. dos Santos is still dangerous, but his name doesn’t carry the same fear it once did. This will be dos Santos’ first career fight in Kansas.

These lines are rather surprising when you consider you’re not getting dos Santos in his prime. dos Santos now has a questionable chin and really hasn’t been the same since those two five round fights against Cain Velasquez. At this present moment, Lewis is probably the better fighter, and even if he wasn’t, you’re getting two times your money with a guy who needs to land just one shot. As I said in the Velasquez and Francis Ngannou bout, I’m going with the underdog based on getting big plus money in a heavyweight fight is the way to go when it takes just one strike. If either of these guys land cleanly, it’s all but over.

I’m going with Lewis based on the more favorable price.

Pick:
Derrick Lewis +201

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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