Santos vs Rakic Picks and Predictions

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Updated: March 4, 2021

Aleksandar Rakić is fresh off a dominating win over Anthony Smith and will now look to improve to 6-1 in the UFC with a bout against Thiago Santos.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

Thiago Santos vs. Aleksandar Rakic is on the main card for UFC 259 betting on March 6. 

This should be an absolute banger between a pair of light heavyweight contenders. UFC betting lines have Rakic installed as a -162 favorite while Santos comes back at +132.

Here are our best Santos vs. Rakic picks and predictions for UFC 259 on Saturday, March 6 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Santos vs Rakic fight odds

Method of Victory Thiago Santos Aleksandar Rakic
Win Outright +132 -162
Win by KO/TKO +210 +195
Win by Points +850 +260
Win by Submission +1,700 +1,800
Draw +5,000 +5,000

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Santos vs Rakic betting preview

Thiago “Marreta” Santos is the No. 2 ranked light heavyweight contender and is coming off a submission loss to Glover Teixeira in November. That was Marreta’s second straight defeat following a close split-decision loss to Jon Jones.

Santos had won eight of his previous nine fights prior to that matchup with Jones, including a TKO win against current 205-pound champ Jan Blachowicz. The 37-year-old Brazilian has scary power with his kicks and dynamite in his hands, with eight of his last nine wins coming by way of knockout. 

Covers UFC 259 Betting Analysis

Aleksandar Rakić is No. 4 in the UFC light heavyweight rankings and is coming off a dominating win against Anthony Smith. That victory allowed him to bounce back from a split-decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir, which was his first defeat since making his MMA debut as a teenager in 2011.  

Rakic is 5-1 under the UFC banner and has first-round finishes of Devin Clark and Jimi Manuwa. The 29-year-old Austrian is a well-rounded fighter that combines explosive striking with strong wrestling.

Santos vs Rakic tale of the tape

Thiago Santos   Aleksandar Rakic
37 Age 29
6-foot-2 Height 6-foot-4
205 lbs Weight 205 lbs
76 inches Reach 78 inches
21-8-0 (15 KO) Record 13-2-0 (9 KO)

Santos vs Rakic UFC prediction and betting pick

PREDICTION: Aleksandar Rakic to win – 162 – Santos has a reputation for his powerful kicks, but rarely used them against Teixeria. That could be cause for concern since he’s coming off surgery on both knees. If kicking isn’t the same weapon that it used to be for the Brazilian he becomes a one-dimensional fighter that has to rely on his power punching.

On the other hand, Rakic can get it done in a variety of ways. He has excellent boxing and mixes in kicks, but also has powerful takedowns with strong ground-and-pound.   

Santos can be a bit wild in his striking at times which will make him vulnerable to Rakic’s precision kickboxing and level changes. 

Rakic opened as a -265 favorite for this fight, which gave Santos decent betting value – especially on the to win by KO/TKO prop. But now that the money is rolling towards Marreta, the value lies with the younger fighter in Rakic.

Where can I bet on UFC odds?

Most online sportsbooks and casinos offer bets on UFC odds and props. While odds to win usually come out as soon as a fight is announced, prop bets become more readily available closer to an event. Check out the best sportsbooks available where you live and see what UFC bets they have available.


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