The UFC is back on the road this week as the promotion touches down in Denver, Colorado for the first time since 2018. We’re set to bring our betting predictions and picks for all the action as we take a look at this next bout in the Women’s Flyweight (125) Division. Brazil’s Luana Santos will take on Kazakhstan’s Mariya Agapova in an exciting Prelim bout. Check out our UFC odds series for our Santos-Agapova prediction and pick.

Luana Santos (7-1) has gone unbeaten through her first two fights under the UFC promotion. She’s a former LFA prospect and impressed with a knockout in her UFC debut. She won her last bout by unanimous decision and she’ll be looking to continue her hot streak here with another solid outing. Santos stands 5’6″ with a 67-inch reach.

Mariya Agapova (10-4) has gone 2-3 in her UFC stint since 2020. She’s traded wins and losses following her debut win a few years ago and after losing her last two bouts to submission, she’ll be looking to improve her grade here and get back into the win column. She comes in as the heavy betting underdog and would stun everyone with a win here. Agapova stands 5’6″ with a 68.5-inch reach.

Here are the UFC Denver Odds, courtesy of BetOnline. 

UFC Denver Odds: Luana Santos-Mariya Agapova Odds

Luana Santos: +315

Mariya Agapova: -415

Over 1.5 rounds: -215

Under 1.5 rounds: +175

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Why Luana Santos Will Win

Luana Santos is coming into her third UFC appearance riding a ton of confidence following her two wins over equally-matched opposition. She’s come into both of her fights as the slight underdog and she’ll be adjusting to being the heavy favorite for the first time. She faces a more experienced fighter in Agapova, but Santos has looked much cleaner through her action thus far and has been able to limit her mistakes despite her lack of UFC experience. With three wins by submission and one by knockout, Santos has yet to be finished in her career and it’ll take a decision on the judges’ scorecards for her to come up short.

Despite this only being her third UFC fight, Santos fights with a very high IQ and doesn’t make too many mistakes to put herself in bad spots. On the ground, she’s very good about reversing position and putting herself in the best spot to chase the submission or get back to her feet. Her striking may not be the cleanest, but she’s consistently aggressive and will continue to pressure her opponent as long as she senses the tide shifting in her direction.

Why Mariya Agapova Will Win

Following a solid start to her professional career, Mariya Agapova has struggled over her last two bouts as her UFC opposition begins to slowly grow in difficulty. She’s been submitted in her last two fights and her last three bouts have ended on the ground, so we can expect to see Agapova grappling here whether its a part of her game plan or not. She lands takedowns at a 66% rate and has five submission wins to her name, but she’ll need to improve on stuffing takedowns coming back her way and not getting forced to her back. Agapova is the more aggressive striker here and if she can keep this fight on the feet, she’ll give herself a chance to win as the underdog.

While her opponent is very sound offensively, she sometimes leaves her hands low and doesn’t move off the center line much of the time. For Agapova to be successful, she should look to use her kicks and chop the legs of Santos and deter her movement. She should also try to move laterally and force Santos to keep chasing after her as she lands with her counter shots. Agapova is slightly longer and as long as she can manage the distance well, she’ll come out on top in a decision.

Final Luana Santos-Mariya Agapova Prediction & Pick

Both women are looking for a signature win and while Mariya Agapova looks to break her two-fight losing streak, Luana Santos will hope to remain unbeaten in the UFC. For that reason, Santos is the rightful betting favorite and will have a strong advantage if this fight ends up hitting the ground.

Mariya Agapova has looked solid in each one of her fights, but it’s usually a split-second lapse in judgement that puts her into a bad position. To get the win as the underdog, she’ll need to be perfect with her striking while defending the takedowns and staying on her feet.

Still, I like Luana Santos to get the win here as the more consistent and dependent fighters. She’s much more dangerous on the ground and if she can find a takedown into top position, she’ll be in a great spot to control and possibly finish this fight. I like this fight to go over as Santos eventually finds a late submission victory.

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Final Luana Santos-Mariya Agapova Prediction & Pick: Luana Santos (-415); OVER 1.5 Rounds (-215)