The UFC stays put in Las Vegas this Saturday for UFC Fight Night: Santos vs. Teixeira, from the APEX center. The preliminary card kicks off at 6:00pm CST on ESPN+, followed by the main card at 9:00pm CST on ESPN2. Last week, we were a perfect 5-0 with our main card picks, bringing our 2-week streak to 11-0 including our picks from UFC 254. Follow along as we break down each of the main card matchups for this Saturday’s event, and give our picks and predictions for how we see each of those fights going down.
Claudia Gadelha (18-4) vs. Yan Xiaonan (12-1-0, 1NC)
Bovada betting odds as of 11/1/20: Xiaonan (-140), Gadelha (+110)
First up on the main card is Brazil’s Claudia Gadehla taking on China’s Yan Xiaonan. Gadelha enters fight week as the slight underdog, although she trumps Xiaonan in experience. Gadelha will be making her 12th walk to the Octagon on Saturday night, and she’s 7-4 in the UFC. Not only have all 4 of Gadelha’s losses come in the UFC, but they have all been by way of decision – two of those decisions, by the way, came against Joanna Jędrzejczyk, and another against Jessica Andrade. Yan Xiaonan, on the other hand, has not lost since 2010. Xiaonan is riding a 10-fight win streak, and she’s a perfect 5-0 in the UFC thus far. Every one of those fights, however, have gone the distance, and this matchup will be a sizeable step-up in competition for Xiaonan.
Our pick: Gadelha, decision
Ian Heinisch (14-3) vs. Brendan Allen (15-3)
Bovada betting odds as of 11/1/20: Allen (-120), Heinisch (-110)
Next up we’ve got a Middleweight showdown between Ian Heinisch and Brendan Allen. Both fighters are relatively new to the UFC, and both made their way through LFA and eventually the Contender Series. Heinisch is 3-2 in the UFC, and he’s coming off of a 1st-round TKO over Gerald Meerschaert at UFC 250 back in June. Brendan Allen is 3-0 in the UFC, and he’s already got a win over up-and-coming Middleweight prospect Kevin Holland. Allen is riding a 7-fight win streak, and he enters fight week as the slight betting favorite. Interesting enough, Allen’s 3 career losses (none of which occurred in the UFC) have all come against fighters who are currently on the UFC roster (Trevin Giles, Eryk Anders and Anthony Hernandez).
Our pick: Allen, decision
Raoni Barcelos (15-1) vs. Khalid Taha (13-2-0, 1NC)
Bovada betting odds as of 11/1/20: Barcelos (-325), Taha (+250)
In the third act of the main card we’ve got Brazil’s Raoni Barcelos taking on Germany’s Khalid Taha. Barcelos will be making his 5th walk to the Octagon this Saturday night, and he’s 4-0 in the UFC with 3 finishes. Barcelos is riding an 8-fight win streak dating back to 2015, and he enters fight week as the largest betting favorite on the main card. Khalid Taha’s time in the UFC has been a bit more tumultuous. Taha lost his UFC debut, won his encore appearance, and had his third fight overturned to a no contest after testing positive for Furosemide (a banned substance that is commonly used to mask other PEDs).
Our pick: Barcelos, 2nd-round KO/TKO
Andrei Arlovski (29-19-0, 2NC) vs. Tanner Boser (19-6-1)
Bovada betting odds as of 11/1/20: Boser (-265), Arlovski (+205)
In the co-main event, UFC and mixed martial arts living legend Andrei Arlovski faces Canada’s Tanner Boser. Andrei Arlovski began his professional career with M-1 back in 1999, and after going 3-1, started his first stint with the UFC. Arlovski went 11-4 with the UFC from 2000-2008, before trying his hand with other organizations, including Affliction, Strikeforce and the World Series of Fighting. Rejoining the UFC in 2014, Arlovski has been a mere skeleton of his former self in his second stint with the promotion, going 4-9-0, 1NC in his last 14 fights. A sizeable -265 favorite entering fight week, Tanner Boser will be making his fifth walk to the Octagon this Saturday night. Boser is 3-1 with the UFC, including 2 finishes, and he’s coming off of a Performance of the Night win over Raphael Pessoa back in July.
Our pick: Boser, 1st-round KO/TKO
Thiago Santos (21-7) vs. Glover Teixeira (31-7)
Bovada betting odds as of 11/1/20: Santos (-225), Teixeira (+175)
In the main event, #1 ranked Thiago Santos and #3 ranked Glover Teixiera will face off for what should be the top contender spot in-wait for the winner of Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya for UFC Light Heavyweight gold. This matchup, having been postponed twice (Rona), will be Thiago Santos’ first fight back since blowing out both knees in the title fight against Jon Jones at UFC 239 in July of last year. Santos is 8-2 in his last 10, and in the fight before his loss to Jones, Santos delivered a 3rd-round finish to current champion Jan Blachowicz. Racking up 4-in-a-row, Glover Teixeira is on his best UFC win streak since 2013, and it has propelled him to #3 in the division. In that time, Teixeira has taken down some top-notch competition, including Ion Cutelaba, Nikita Krylov and most recently a slobberknocking of Anthony Smith. Both Santos and Teixiera will be making their 20th walk to the Octagon this Saturday night, but apparently Teixiera’s 10 fights outside of the UFC have made little to no impact on the oddsmakers, as Teixiera enters fight week a +175 dog.
Our pick: Santos, 3rd-round KO/TKO
Tell us what you think! Where do we have it right, and where do you think we got it wrong? Comment with your picks, and don’t forget to bookmark our page and check back often for more predictions and fight coverage. If you like what you see, go ahead and give our Facebook page a like and follow us on Twitter & Instagram @fightsportfocus. Also, subscribe to the Fight Sport Focus podcast on Anchor.fm, Spotify, iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts!