Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Curtis Millender
|Date & Time||Saturday March 9, 2019, 10:00 PM (EST)|
Intrust Bank Arena
The Line: Millender -107 / dos Santos -107 -- Over/Under:
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Curtis Millender fight Saturday during UFC on ESPN+ 4 at the Intrust Bank Arena.
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos enters this fight with a 20-5 record and has won 70 percent of his fights by knockout. dos Santos has won each of his last six fights and is coming off a September win over Luigi Vendramini. dos Santos is averaging 4.33 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. dos Santos is averaging 0.36 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 11 percent. dos Santos hasn’t lost a fight since his 2015 bout against Nicolas Dalby and is probably enjoying the best stretch of his career at only 32 years old. dos Santos is a striker at heart who relies on rapid combinations and elite atheltism, as few fighters in this sport are as effective with their legs and knees as he is. dos Santos has a variety of strikes in his tool box, and his opponent must be prepared for anything, as a flying knee or a spinning kick could come at any moment. What’s crazy about dos Santosis that he’s never been knocked out in his career despite his style and the fact he can be a bit wild, leaving himself open for counters. This will be dos Santos’ fourth career fight outside of Brazil.
Curtis Millender enters this fight with a 17-3 record and has won 65 percent of his fights by decision. Millender has won each of his last nine fights and is coming off a December win over Siyar Bahadurzada. Millender is averaging 4.43 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 48 percent. Millender is averaging 0.38 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 100 percent. Millender enters this fight 3-0 under the UFC banner and few fighters had a better 2018, which included four victories overall and performance of the night honors during UFC Fight Night 126. Millender is an exciting fighter who relies on accuracy and extreme power in his striking, as four of his six career knockouts were KOs. Millender is violent with his legs and knees and disguises his attacks well to create an opening to land the finishing strike. Millender has quick hands and can be effective with his punches, but he’s more of a kickboxer than anything else in the octagon and has some of the most ridiculous power with his legs we’ve seen in a while. This will be Millender’s first career fight in Kansas.
This is probably the most exciting fight on the card, as both guys have very similar styles and despite being primarily standup fighters, neither has lost by knockout. As for a winner, I give the edge to Millender, who is the much bigger and longer fighter, and that’s key in this style of fight. Millender is also a master at hiding his strikes well and delivering that one blow that changes everything. That could be the difference against dos Santos, who is more combination heavy and a bit wild at times.
Toss-up fight, but the American gets the nod.