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UFC Fight Night 142 (Dos Santos vs Tuivasa): Odds and Predictions

A young JDS flexes at the weigh-in. Does he still have what it takes to compete at the elite level? Photo by Martial Arts Nomad (flickr) [CC License].
  • UFC Fight Night 142 will be held on December 1, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia
  • Former Heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos and Aussie contender Tai Tuivasa headline the event
  • Who will steal the show, the experienced veteran or the wily newcomer?

The UFC heads down under this weekend with Fight Night 142. It’s a bit of a filler card since the UFC is saving its biggest fights for the end of the year, but the headliner should be entertaining enough. Former heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos takes on the young Tai Tuivasa for a classic heavyweight showdown. In the co-main, veteran Mark Hunt takes on the rising Justin Willis.

The time difference might make things difficult for North American viewers, but this is an event worth waking up for.

UFC Fight Night 142 Odds: Junior Dos Santos vs Tai Tuivasa

Who Will Win the Main Event at UFC Fight Night 142? Odds at Bovada
Junior Dos Santos -160
Tai Tuivasa +130

It’s the rising star against the old guard. Junior dos Santos (19-5) is a former heavyweight champ and a future hall-of-famer. At 35, he’s still relatively young for a heavyweight, but his recent performances suggest that his best days are behind him. Tai Tuivasa (8-0) is an undefeated prospect with his toughest fights ahead of him. The upcoming fight against JDS marks his first real test in the UFC.

Tuivasa is a striker in the vein of Mark Hunt. He packs knockout power in both fists and will always opt to keep the fight standing. His first seven fights all ended in a first round knockout. His most recent fight, against a 39-year-old Andrei Arlovski, was the first notable opponent of his career and the Australian won the three-rounder by decision.

Tuivasa is a striker in the vein of Mark Hunt. He packs knockout power in both fists and will always opt to keep the fight standing.

A clear win-loss-win pattern has emerged in Junior Dos Santos’ fight record. Over his last nine fights, JDS hasn’t had two consecutive wins or losses. If the pattern continues, he’s scheduled for a loss this weekend.

But let’s take a look at those losses: Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, and Cain Velasquez again. Those fighters are a cut above Tuivasa. Dos Santos has beaten five UFC heavyweight champions throughout his storied career.

Tale of the Tape: Junior Dos Santos vs Tai Tuivasa

Dos Santos
VS
Tuivasa

19-5 PRO RECORD 8-0
6 ft 4 in HEIGHT 6 ft 1 in
77 in REACH 75 in
34 AGE 25
248 lbs LAST WEIGHT 265 lbs

Dos Santos could be the first fighter to test Tuivasa’s ground game. The former champ isn’t known for his grappling, but like all Brazilians in the UFC, he’s well-versed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. By taking Tuivasa to the ground, he would strip his opponent of his only threat.

Tuivasa had never entered a second round before June of this year, and there were doubts over whether he could go the distance.

There’s also the issue of cardio. Tuivasa had never entered a second round before June of this year, and there were doubts over whether he could go the distance. He proved that he could against Arlovski, but he did appear to be at his limit towards the end. After all, the man is 6”1’ and needs to cut weight to make 265 pounds.

You only need to take one look at him to know that cardio isn’t his strong suit. Tuivasa may struggle if the fight continues into the championship rounds. Dos Santos has gone through plenty of five-rounders and knows that he can last the full 25 minutes.

If JDS can avoid Tuivasa’s fists in the first few rounds, the fight is his for the taking. He’s the more well-rounded and experienced fighter, with far more ways to win. I picture one of dos Santos’ trademark ground-and-pounds ending the show.

Pick: Junior Dos Santos (-160)

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