Santos vs Hill
When you look at stigmas, they tend to stick. No matter how long time goes, you tend to remember the stigma of the person. The Stigma behind Santos is obvious. Any guy with a hammer tattooed on his chest is quite simple to gauge what kind of reputation he has. Santos is known for bone chilling kicks and thunder behind everything he throws. Right out of the gate, Santos will deliver “Oohs and Ahhhhhs” with his initial engagements that can be heard everywhere inside the arena. With a record of 22-10, he has 15 by way of devastating KO and can turn your lights out at the drop of a dime. In his 10 losses, he has been KO’D and Submitted 3 times on both sides. Santos is very much of a fighter that will either dismantle you or he will get dismantled at some point in the fight. Santos really never evolved as a fighter all that much in his career. He is a black belt in BJJ, but understands that he is widely known for his abilities to send his opposition into the shadow realm. However, if you really dive into Santos’ style, he is what I call a sprint fighter. He is not one to fight at a steady state of volume for 15 minus. He will sit back and wait for openings or until his not patient any longer. He then will sprint forward with a reckless abandon and although with his power it can and has been very effective, he does tend to leave the center line open quite often. Leaving the centerline open during forward motion will not only expose your chin, but it will also double the impact because you are not rolling with the punch at that point. Basic physics will tell you that a car moving towards impact will be more devastating than a car trying to swerve out of the way of incoming traffic. Santos’ also does have his conditioning woes which will allow him to become sloppy later in the fight. He will start to really load up on his punches and doesn’t sit down on them all that well when they begin to swim in those deeper waters. This only makes him more susceptible to opening windows for his opposition to jump through. With all that said, Santos needs one liver shot or 1 clean connection and you will immediately be on ice skates. He tends to sell you a false sense of security at times and that is when he will catch his opposition by surprise. Remember ladies and gentlemen, it is not the shots that you see that will hurt you, it is the shots you don’t see that will shut you off and the more you are shut off, the easier it is to get shut off again. The brain has Axons that control your motor functions and those Axons fray differently from fighter to fighter, but once the sheathing starts to teeder off these Axons, your body tends to lose snap in a formidable way. Think about a spark plug that is full of dirty oil. It will never fire correctly if at all. Your Axons need to be clean in order to send messages to the rest of your body. Santos hasn’t been getting sent to the shadow realm, but he has lost 3 of his last 4. You really need to wonder if with his injuries, some of the wars he has been in, coupled with age will play a factor here against the much younger sharp shooter in Hill.
Hill comes in with a 10-1 record with 6 wins by KO and 1 loss at the hands of Paul Craig which I find very odd. Craig is not a very good striker and Hill is known for his striking. However, I think Hill came into that fight a bit too confident and I think he has been drinking his Kool Aid a bit too early in his career. However, the kid does have skill, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that, that particular KO against Craig didn’t bother me, I would be lying. Craig is far from a KO artist and for him to be able to shut the lights off, makes me wonder what would happen if Santos was able to even just clip him with his power. Scary proposition to think about. Especially if you are backing Hill here. However, the reason I am picking Hill in this spot is due to the sharpness of his game. Sure, he is going to really need to dial in the leg kicks of Santos and be very weary of how he enters the pocket, but the clean striking style of Hill should be able to keep Santos at bay This as he scores with his piston of a jab. People may be looking into his 3 inch reach advantage a bit too much. Legs are longer than arms and he will need to hold enough range to stay clear of Santos, but the entry of his strikes can at least be from a slightly longer deployment zone in order to take some sting off of Santo’s counters if they do land. Very interesting fight here and even though Santos is aging and has def lost a step, this is a solid test for Hill to gauge exactly where he stands. Dangerous fight but I think he passes the test.
The Pick: Hill Inside the Distance