Thiago Santos will be aiming to bolster his position as the top-ranked contender in the UFC light heavyweight division when he battles Glover Teixeira on Saturday in the main event at UFC Vegas 13 as a strong -250 favourite on the UFC odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
“The Sledgehammer” has been idle in the 16 months since his last outing, a heartbreaking split-decision loss to Jon Jones at UFC 239 that marked his first defeat in five outings going into Saturday night’s bout at UFC APEX.
Santos’ failed bid for the UFC light heavyweight crown also marked his first defeat since moving to the 205-pound division two years ago, and the first time the 36-year-old Brazilian has gone a full five rounds during his 10-year professional MMA career. Santos had enjoyed an impressive debut as a light heavyweight, posting three straight wins by KO or TKO, capped by a third-round victory over current UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz as a -135 wager at online sports betting sites at UFC Fight Night 145.
Set as a +195 underdog, Teixeira enters the octagon looking to tally a fifth straight victory. Currently tops all-time among UFC light heavyweight fighters with 11 career stoppage victories and five career submission victories, Teixeira has finished opponents in three of his four recent wins, capped by a fifth-round TKO win over Anthony Smith at UFC Fight Night 171 that paid out on -235 odds, and earned Teixeira his second Performance of the Night bonus in three outings.
The big boys also dominate the spotlight in Saturday’s co-main event, as the pride of Bonnyville, Alberta, Tanner Boser, faces off against fellow heavyweight Andrei Arlovski as heavy -310 chalk. Boser is coming off back-to-back finishes to improve his pro MMA record to 19-6-1. Arlovski sports +240 odds after posting just four wins in 14 octagon appearances since 2015.
Elsewhere on the UFC Vegas 13 odds, Ian Heinisch takes on Brendan Allen in a clash of middleweights pegged as a -115 pick’em. Raoni Barcelos is set as a heavy -370 favourite against fellow bantamweight Khalid Taha, while Yan Xiaonan battles No. 4 women’s strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha as -160 chalk.
Meanwhile, the focus turns to boxing later this month, when former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson makes his long-awaited return to the squared circle, taking on Roy Jones Jr. as a -175 betting favourite. It has been over 15 years since Tyson last fought, falling in the sixth round to Kevin McBride in his most recent contest. Conversely, Jones last entered the ring in 2018, and rides a four-fight win streak into his clash with Iron Mike as a +145 underdog.