UFC Fight Night 166: Blaydes vs Dos Santos Tips and Predictions

Trent Orwin:
Curtis Blaydes UFC MMA

UFC Fight Night 166 will feature heavyweights Curtis Blaydes and Junior dos Santos at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina on Sunday, January 26.

The main card kicks off at 12pm AEDT and here are our best bets for UFC Fight Night 166.

Curtis Blaydes vs Junior dos Santos

The main event looks a great fight between Curtis “Razor” Blaydes and Junior dos Santos. Both men have had the misfortune of suffering first-round knockout losses to Francis Ngannou.

Blaydes is 12-2, 1NC heading into this fight with back-to-back wins over Justin Willis and Shamil Abdurakhimov; the latest was via TKO in the second round at UFC 242.

Dos Santos is a former UFC Heavyweight champion and has fought the likes of Cain Velasquez, Alistair Overeem and current UFC Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. Dos Santos had beaten Blagoy Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa and Derrick Lewis prior to his defeat against Ngannou.

Blaydes’ wrestling ability could prove too much for dos Santos to withstand in this fight. He averages 6.79 takedowns per 15 minutes and while dos Santos has an 80% takedown defense, Blaydes may eventually take dos Santos down before raining elbows and punches on his downed opponent to record a KO or TKO victory.

Rafael dos Anjos vs Michael Chiesa

There is a big price differential between Rafael dos Anjos and Michael Chiesa in the co-main event. This Welterweight bout is not easy to assess. Dos Anjos has lost three of his last four fights, although they were against Colby Covington, Kamaru Usman and Leon Edwards. His victory during that time was via an arm-triangle choke over Kevin Lee.

Chiesa has won his past two fights over Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez. He did lose to Kevin Lee in 2017.

Submission is the key word in this fight with dos Anjos winning 10 times via submission and 14 coming via decision with just five knockouts. Chiesa hasn’t won a fight via knockout, preferring to also make his opponent tap out with 11 submission wins and five via decision.

Chiesa will have a significant reach advantage in the fight, and we expect “Maverick” to give dos Anjos a run for his money as the underdog in the fight.