UFC San Antonio Odds, Pick & Prediction for Holly Holm vs. Yana Santos: The +400 Lean for Co-main Event (Saturday, March 25)
Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: UFC women’s bantamweight Holly Holm
- Former UFC champion Yana Santos co-headlines San Antonio opposite Yana Santos.
- The bantamweight opponents are former training partners with Holm the favorite heading into their ESPN-televised bout.
- Below, Dan Tom shares the +400 flier that's worth considering.
Holly Holm vs. Yana Santos Odds
The UFC San Antonio co-main features a battle between ranked women’s bantamweights with Holly Holm and Yana Santos.
Despite coming up short against Ketlen Vieira in a competitive decision last May, Holm – given both her status and the depth in the divisions she competes in – always feels like she’s merely a win away from title contention.
Standing in her way is a familiar face in Santos, who used to train with Holm at Jackson Wink MMA roughly six years ago.
Since then, Santos has reshuffled her training camps, making potential improvements a quiet narrative heading into Saturday’s ESPN-televised event (4 p.m. ET().
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||17:41||11:13|
|Weight (pounds)||135 lbs.||135 lbs.|
|Date of birth||10/17/1981||11/11/1989|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.24||4.28|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.86||2.94|
|Take Down Avg||0.72||1.53|
Prognosticating action between former training partners can always be tricky considering all the intangibles at play.
That said, both women seem to favor an all-the-way-in or all-the-way-out theme to their striking approach.
Holm, for example, bears all the trademarks of a classic Jackson Wink fighter.
Whether Holm is circling on the outside to stage blitzes like pre-programmed bombing runs, or is rushing into clinch space to secure late-round takedowns, the former bantamweight champion will seldom be seen hanging out in boxing range.
Never forget when @HollyHolm shocked the WORLD against Ronda Rousey 😱
Holm is back in action Saturday in our #UFCSanAntonio co-main event! pic.twitter.com/24hQBRYD9H
— UFC (@ufc) March 21, 2023
To Holm’s credit, she has made measurable improvements to her wrestling and transition game in recent years, as well as more of an effort to strike off her lead side.
Although the latter will likely assist Holm in her distance management, she’ll need to be mindful about tying up with Santos.
Despite coming from a striking background, Santos – akin to Holm – has really gravitated toward clinch fighting during her UFC tenure.
Santos may not be as good of a wrestler as Holm in this space, but the former Invicta FC champ’s muay Thai tenacity really comes to life in the form of slashing elbows and brutal body knees.
Since moving shop to American Top Team, Santos has also shown improvements to her striking form and clinch entries, which could be crucial when it comes to tracking down a counter striker such as Holm.
Number-six ranked bantamweight contender @YanaKunitskaya1 is preparing for her UFC return after giving birth to Alisa Santos in May.
Who would you like to see the ‘Foxy’ one fight next? #UFC#MMApic.twitter.com/oswLIQplvA
— Women's MMA Rankings (@WMMARankings) November 27, 2022
Santos’ defense will definitely need to be up to par given the way she’s been wearing strikes as of late.
However, she will have the same team who prepared Amanda Nunes to beat Holm firmly behind her.
Holm vs. Santos Pick
The oddsmakers and the public are seemingly favoring the fan favorite, listing Holm -240 and Santos +200 as of this writing.
Although I don’t disagree with who is favored, both the context and numbers involved in this matchup force it into ‘dog-or-pass territory, at least for me.
Holm may be the better athlete by a decent stretch, but her last outing (which I had scored against her despite betting on her) inspired very little confidence.
Aside from age appearing to be catching up with the 41-year-old, Holm’s propensity to push into the clinch could cost her considering that both she and her camp seem to value control over damage. That said, I’ll still officially be siding with Holm for a pick.
Regardless of Holm’s claims to be healthier this time around, I believe that the big cage will strongly favor her style and intentions.
I also have a hard time ignoring that left-sided strikes seem to be a common culprit for Santos, who self-admittedly struggles with southpaws.
But as far as a bet goes, I can’t tell you to lay the chalk on Holm or her decision prop in good conscious.
I can, however, strongly recommend a lean on “Fight to Be Won by Split or Majority Decision” – currently available at +400 at DraftKings – for this bout (and arguably any others you deem competitive on this card) given the nice plus numbers that are usually attached.
As we were reminded last week in England, certain MMA judging markets can be extra volatile – and Texas is easily at the top of that list.
The Lean: Holm-Santos ends by split or majority decision (+400 at DraftKings)
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