UFC Fight Night: Taila Santos vs Montana de La Rosa

The UFC is coming down the final stretch of what has been potentially their most difficult year but 2020 put them over the top.

Not only was the UFC the first sport to return in the States but also one of the first on earth to get back into action. I must say I enjoyed writing about Taiwanese professional baseball but I don’t think I ever want to research an Xfinity level VIDEO GAME car race!

I felt like I was back at the dollar theater and playing Cruisin USA in between showings of Happy Gilmore. Dale Earnheardt Jr and Jeff Gordon were coming back to get in the driver’s seat…of a video game.

My only strategy was to pick the youngest guy I could. I figured they would be better at video games and probably used the simulator more in their development. Not long after the NASCAR drivers returned to the tracks, the other major sports began to hold competitions.

Cactus League golf, Russian table tennis…

At least Taiwanese Baseball had real cheerleaders and introduced the concept of cardboard fans. Those girls were so enthusiastic making eye contact with and pumping up “the crowd”.

The UFC was a savior for sports in 2020! I think we are well on our way to being the second most popular sport in the world and one day, the first!

Welp, upon further inspection, it looks like we aren’t even in the top ten right now. People are just in denial. The wave is coming. You can take a ride or eat some coral. Up to you…

Table Tennis, Field Hockey, Cricket, and Volleyball are all in the top 7. Madness, I tell you. The UFC is coming for your ping pong paddles and cricket clubs or bats or whatever they are…hitting ground balls from the pitcher.

Fighting is in our DNA, people!

Moving on.

Two female fighters who have always shown heart inside of the Octagon are fighting this Saturday night. Brazil’s Talia Santos and the US’s Montana de La Rosa will tangle in what is a surprising matchup.

Taila Santos is 16-1 and Montana is 11-6. As you might imagine, Taila is the favorite here but not an incredibly expensive one if we want to make a play.

  • Santos had that split decision loss to Mara Romera Borella which is not a great look at all considering she was 15-0 going into that fight. I think that is what is keeping folks from betting her up to a 3 to 1 favorite.
  • Montana showed an incredible amount of heart in her last fight against another Brazilian striker, Viviane Araujo. The American was outclassed on her feet and not strong enough to get the fight to the mat.

She is very long and lean and I’m not saying she is weak but she isn’t overly strong. We just weren’t made that way. If you’re a great student, though, you can learn to use your leverage to beat the strength.

It doesn’t always work, though. If your opponent is equally adept at using leverage and has more strength than you, then you’re gonna have a bad time.

The online sportsbook BetOnline has the most valuable odds for both fighters. Let’s take a look at those UFC betting odds and make a pick for Taila Santos vs Montana de La Rosa.

Taila Santos (-205) vs Montana de La Rosa (+175)

This betting line opened up with Taila up at (-265) and Montana coming in at (+185). Santos is now bet down to a 2-1 favorite and this might be a gift for us.

Losing to Borella, though, no bueno!

Santos has been fed low level opponents for most of her career. Do the numbers 7-11 mean anything to you? I didn’t think so. Well, that is the combined record of her first 13 opponents at the time she fought them.

She beat a tough 7-1 Brazilian on Dana White’s Contender Series to get into the UFC and after her split decision loss to Borella, she looked great in her return fight against Molly McCann.

Montana, even at the age of just 25 years old has been in there with some very good fighters. She fought Mackenzie Dern and Cynthia Calvillo in back to back fights 4 years ago.

She got her shot on the UFC’s Ultimate Fighter reality show tournament but lost to eventual season winner Nicco Montano. She then rattled off 3 consecutive victories against women no longer in the UFC, that is assuming they won’t bring back Rachel Ostovich but that is probably wishful thinking.

She then lost to the overrated Andrea Lee and then beat the woman who defeated Santos, Borella. After that, Vivy Araujo put it on her pretty good in her last fight.

This means that the only women Montana has beaten in the UFC, all 4 of them, are now cut from the company. I like her ground game, her heart, and we have seen some improvement in her striking.

She lacks physicality and that made a big difference against Araujo and I think it will against Vivy’s fellow Brazilian, Taila Santos.

How she gets it done, I don’t know. Montana is very durable. Only Dern and Calvillo were able to get her out of there and that was 4 years ago.

You can get Taila to win by decision for even money. I don’t think that is such a bad bet here.

We will go with that. I would like to get more than even money on a method of victory prop but it is what it is. De La Rosa is durable with good submission grappling so it will probably take a TKO to get her out of there.

The heart that Montana showed against Vivy was tremendous and I expect the same grit and durability from her this Saturday night.

My Pick
Santos by Decision

In Conclusion

I told myself I was going to take her straight up and just pay the juice but I can definitely see this one going the distance. Montana has proven her worth inside of the Octagon.

You know she will fight for your money and even though we aren’t betting on her, she will be fighting for our money. I have a feeling we will be pulling for her at times even though the dough is on the Brazilian.

Santos knows that Montana is dangerous, though, and I don’t think she wants to be on the bottom. I’m not sure if Taila will go for the takedown or not but it is a possibility.

If that happens, I think it plays into our wager even better. Montana has never been submitted and Taila hasn’t finished anyone since her gigantic step up in competition from the regional scene to the highest level.

There could be a ground and pound stoppage but I like de La Rosa’s long limbs to be able to tie up the Brazilian at least long enough to hang on and lose a decision to the 16-1 fighter.

Get your bets in now or forever hold your horses.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.