UFC Fight Night 146 Betting Guide: Will Derrick Lewis Knock Out Junior dos Santos?

UFC Fight Night 146 Betting Guide: Will Derrick Lewis Knock Out Junior dos Santos? article feature image
Credit:

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Derrick Lewis (red gloves).

UFC Fight Night 146 betting odds: Derrick Lewis vs. Junior dos Santos

  • Derrick Lewis +170
  • Junior dos Santos -210
  • Time: Approx. 9:45 p.m. ET
  • Channel: ESPN+

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The UFC will travel to Wichita, Kansas and the actions gets started at 5 p.m. ET from the INTRUST Bank Arena for UFC Fight Night 146.

The action-packed card has multiple value bets in the non-main event contests, but the following breakdown will focus strictly on the night’s main event between top-ranked heavyweight contenders Derrick Lewis and Junior dos Santos.

Lewis has won three of his past four fights, but was most recently seen losing to champion Daniel Cormier by rear-naked choke in the second round at UFC 230. This fight took place less than a month after Lewis’ miraculous comeback at UFC 229, when “The Black Beast” knocked out Alexander Volkov with just 11 seconds remaining in the third round of a fight that Lewis was badly losing.

Meanwhile, dos Santos was last seen toppling budding contender Tai Tuivasa in December. dos Santos hasn’t lost since being knocked out in just 144 seconds at UFC 211 at the hands of then-champion Stipe Miocic.

Both fighters have finished the overwhelming majority of their fights by way of knockout, although dos Santos has historically utilized more volume and better defense than Lewis.

Let’s break down some of the matchup’s biggest questions and attempt to find some value with the odds.

How Can Derrick Lewis Win?

The answer is by devastating knockout via Lewis’ monstrous right hand.

Lewis has fought 16 times in the UFC and won 12 of those contests. 10 of his victories came via KO/TKO by way of punches, while his only decision victories came in a mystifying low-volume “fight” against Francis Ngannou along with a split-decision win over Roy Nelson, who is notorious for having a granite chin.

The intriguing part about Lewis’ knockout ability is that he’s dangerous for more than just the first round.

Lewis hasn’t had a first-round stoppage since 2016, as he’s made a habit of finishing his fights in the later rounds throughout his UFC career.

  • First round wins: 4/10 (40%)
  • Seconds round wins: 2/10 (20%)
  • Third-and-later round wins: 4/10 (40%)

Lewis is the epitome of a heavy-handed heavyweight who lacks refined technique and elite conditioning, but he more than makes up for it with power and heart.

Lewis’ four losses inside the Octagon have come against Cormier (second-round submission), Mark Hunt (fourth-round TKO), Shawn Jordan (second-round hook kick TKO) and Matt Mitrione (first-round knockout). He certainly has a flair for the dramatic comeback knockout, although he’s still lost four-of-six career fights that his opponent has landed more total strikes.

Next up for arguably the heavyweight’s defining knockout artist is the division’s all-time leader in knockdowns landed.

How Can Junior dos Santos Win?

JDS might own the record for most knockdowns by a heavyweight in the UFC, although he’s been a bit more a of a point fighter in recent years. Overall, eight of his first 10 wins in the Octagon came by way of KO/TKO, but only one of dos Santos’ last four victories have come before the final bell.

dos Santos’ last TKO victory also happened to be his last fight, when he managed to finish Tuivasa by second-round TKO. JDS ended the fight on the ground, but got there by becoming the first man in the UFC to drop the undefeated contender.

Of course, dos Santos didn’t exactly dominate that fight, as Tuivasa landed more strikes in the first round with a higher-accuracy rate, and JDS continued to not demonstrate the ability to consistently keep himself off the fence.

JDS deserves credit for not getting dropped by the heavy-handed Australian, but playing an overhand-right version of Russian roulette with somebody that hits as hard as Lewis probably isn’t a good idea. This is problematic considering it’s unlikely we see this matchup become a ground-oriented battle; each competitor has completed just one takedown during their respective last six trips inside the octagon.

JDS, like Lewis, has lost four times since joining the UFC. Miocic (first-round TKO), Alistair Overeem (second-round TKO) as well as Cain Velasquez (decision and a fifth-round TKO) found a path to victory against the former UFC champion.

Current and Past Odds

There’s more value on Lewis in this matchup based on the odds we’ve seen for both competitors during their last 10 trips inside the octagon.

Lewis has been an underdog bettor’s best friend for most of his career, capturing the victory in three of his last four fights as a dog. Meanwhile, dos Santos has lost two of his last five fights when he’s been at least a two-to-one favorite.

Prediction

Heavyweight fights are notoriously a bit more random than lighter weight divisions thanks to the higher-knockout rate. Both fighters have been finished before the final bell on multiple occasions, and neither has shown too much restraint in turning their respective fights into all-out brawls.

I’m riding with “The Black Beast” in this one by way of TKO/KO. Perhaps JDS’ superior footwork and boxing ability will be the deciding factor, but plus odds for any heavyweight in a fight that is expected to stay on the feet is tough to pass up.

The Pick: Derrick Lewis +170

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