UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane
#UFCVegas20 MMA Betting Preview
Fresh off Derrick Lewis' knockout win last weekend as a 3:1 underdog, the UFC is back with two more heavyweights headlining the card this Saturday. No. 4 Jairzinho Rozenstruik looks to follow Lewis' path to victory as another sizable dog against No. 7 Ciryl Gane, who looks to stay undefeated with a win in the night’s main event.
The night's co-main event brings us light heavyweights in No. 8 Nikita Krylov taking on No. 11 Magomed Ankalaev. These two impressive finishers look to continue their winning ways as of late. The main card also features a fantastic rematch between two of the bantamweight's best, as No. 8 Pedro Munhoz looks to avenge a previous split decision loss to No. 9 Jimmie Rivera.
Twelve fights make up the entire card, with the entire broadcast live and available on ESPN+.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT DETAILS
- DATE: SATURDAY 02/27/21
- BROADCAST: ESPN+
- VENUE: UFC APEX
- LOCATION: Las Vegas, Nevada
- # of MATCHES: 11
- HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT 265LBS / #4 JAIRZINHO ROZENSTRUIK 11-1 VS #7 CIRYL GANE 7-0
- LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT 205LBS / #8 NIKITA KRYLOV 27-7 VS #11 MAGOMED ANKALAEV 14-1
- WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT BOUT 125LBS / MONTANA DE LA ROSA 11-6 VS MAYRA BUENO SILVA 7-1
- BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135LBS / #8 PEDRO MUNHOZ 18-5 VS #9 JIMMIE RIVERA 23-4
- WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT BOUT 115LBS / #12 ANGELA HILL 12-9 VS ASHLEY YODER 8-6
- FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT 145LBS / ALEX CACERES 17-12 VS KEVIN CROOM 21-12
- LIGHTWEIGHT BOUT 155LBS / ALEXANDER HERNANDEZ 12-3 VS THIAGO MOISES 14-4
- WELTERWEIGHT BOUT 170LBS / ALEX OLIVEIRA 22-9-1 VS RAMAZAN KURAMAGOMEDOV 8-0
- WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135LBS / ALEXIS DAVIS 19-10 VS SABINA MAZO 9-1
- BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135LBS / VINCE CACHERO 7-3 VS RONNIE LAWRENCE 6-1
- LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT 205LBS / DUSTIN JACOBY 13-5 VS MAXIM GRISHIN 31-8-2
MAIN CARD NOTES, PREDICTIONS & WAGERS
HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT 265LBS: #4 JAIRZINHO ROZENSTRUIK 11-1 VS #7 CIRYL GANE 7-0
- Gane, a moderate favorite here, looks to stay unbeaten. He's 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the UFC since joining the organization in 2019.
- Win or lose, 11 of Rozenstruik’s 12 fights have ended via knockout.
- Gane comes in with the advantage in all striking and grappling statistics.
- The average fight time for these two is under 2.5 rounds after a combined 19 professional fights.
- As a pro kickboxer, Rozenstruik was 76-6, with 64 knockouts.
Similar in a sense to last week’s main event, we have a striker who packs some serious power, looking to spark a very well-rounded heavyweight. Gane is a unique heavyweight, as he can move like the lighter divisions, switch stances, and is faster than most, making him a very hard target to hit. Gane can mix things up in a flash and has moments of creativity which keeps his foes guessing. What we won't be guessing is the fact that Jairzinho Rozenstruik will be headhunting, looking to leverage his pro kickboxing experience with hopes of yet another finish in a devastating fashion. Before this matchup, he slept Junior Albini with an uppercut/head kick combo, followed up with quick KO's of Allen Crowder and Andrei Arlovski. Most recently, Rozenstruik is known for the one-punch highlight-reel finish of Alistair Overeem, with just seconds remaining in a fight he was losing. Rozenstruik is never out of a fight, as long as he has a shot at connecting on the feet.
Prediction: Expect Gane to hang around on the feet, showing some of his movement, but eventually test Rozenstruik’s suspect grappling. I don’t see any danger on the mat for Gane, and as Albini and Overeem did, he will want to get this one down where he can win rounds. Rozenstruik has shown us his ability to stay patient and reserve his gas tank, and he’ll look to rally and land. He found success against Albini and Overeem, coming back after being down. Gane is a much better fighter than Albini and 10 years younger than the future HOF Overeem, where we will see that speed and movement prevail over the combat experience Rozenstruik will bring.
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT 205LBS: #8 NIKITA KRYLOV 27-7 VS #11 MAGOMED ANKALAEV 14-1
- Only two of Krylov’s 34 professional fights have gone to a decision. Those happen to be his last two fights against heavy hitters Glover Teixeira and Johnny Walker.
- While Krylov has only been KO’d once (2013, Soa Palelei), Ankalaev has won via KO in seven of his last eight wins.
After losing his UFC debut via submission in the very last second of the fight, Ankalaev has impressed since and has won five straight and in a decisive fashion. His submission loss does throw a red flag as he tapped almost instantly in a fight he had all about wrapped up. Krylov can be sneaky and has submission attempts in seven of his 14 UFC fights, including three of his last four. Krylov is uber aggressive though Ankalaev is extremely durable, and I could see him taking this fight where he wants with his grappling strength. The key here will be Ankalaev staying in control while owning the dominant position. Krylov isn’t too slippery, and I could see Ankalaev in top control, landing some ground and pound possibly on his way to a finish. The line and Krylov’s ability to sneak something has me looking past this fight from a betting perspective.
Prediction: Ankalaev avoids hitting the submission panic button and makes it six in a row with a clear-cut win.
WOMEN’S FLYWEIGHT BOUT 125LBS: MONTANA DE LA ROSA 11-6 VS MAYRA BUENO SILVA 7-1
- Silva comes in at 7-1, and she has never been finished. Six of her seven wins came in the very first round.
- Both fighters' strength is the submission game. Eight of their combined last 10 wins have come via submission.
- De La Rosa is a 3X All-American high school wrestler.
Both fighters have some solid striking, though with differences. De La Rosa will be rangy and long, with much-improved footwork to boot. She doesn't have much fight-changing power, but she can implement her ground game after landing up top. On the other hand, Silva is aggressive and will pressure to close the distance, where the Muay Thai will come into play. She should visibly have the edge with leg kicks, and if she can get to top control once this goes down, it is her fight to lose. De La Rosa almost lost to former UFC fighter Rachael Ostovich via armbar a few fights back but could transition and sneak a choke weathering the storm. I don't see her doing that here, and in fact, Silva isn't too shabby with the armbar herself, as she has four wins in that fashion, including her last fight against Mara Romero Borella last September.
Prediction: Probably a good back and forth fight, with Silva eventually doing enough. Silva via submission is very interesting at +330.
Bet: Mayra Bueno Silva -143
BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135LBS: #8 PEDRO MUNHOZ 18-5 VS #9 JIMMIE RIVERA 23-4
- This will be the second meeting for these two. Rivera won their first fight in 2015 via a split decision.
- Rivera has gone to a decision in eight of his last nine fights against some top-level opponents, including current champ Petr Yan.
- In 24 fights, Munohoz has never been finished.
- Three of Munhoz’s five decision losses have been via split. In all but one of his losses, he's been outstruck. That being the gift split decision to Frankie Edgar, where Munhoz outlanded him in four of the five rounds.
As mentioned, this is a rematch from 2015, where Rivera edged out a split decision. Both fighters have improved since then and are the top tier in the division. Rivera looked solid in his last go against Cody Stamann, and Munhoz went five with UFC legend Frankie Edgar. No doubt he won that fight, but the judges were drinking the kool-aid and awarded Edgar the decision via split. Munhoz is durable and will take shots to land his own, but this could add up against a guy like Rivera. Rivera is a compact, speedy bantamweight whose base in wrestling isn't utilized much. If this does go to the mat, I expect both to find their feet when in trouble. Munhoz has to be highly motivated here, after that Edgar debacle, coupled with the chance to even the score against Rivera’s 2015 win over him.
Prediction: This should be a close one, and even though Munhoz typically throws more volume, he also eats his fair share, and the visibility will rub off on the judges. Rivera’s speed, counters, and cardio should be apparent and enough to at least take two rounds.
Bet: No play
WOMEN’S STRAWWEIGHT BOUT 115LBS: #12 ANGELA HILL 12-9 VS ASHLEY YODER 8-6
- This will be the second meeting for these two. Hill defeated Yoder via unanimous decision back in 2017.
- Yoder has gone to a decision in all eight of her UFC fights, while Hill has done the same in her last three.
- Yoder is just 3-5 under the UFC banner.
- Hill was 16-0 as a pro kickboxer.
- Hill lands 5.70 significant strikes per minute, compared to Yoder’s 2.81. Additionally, Yoder has less than average striking accuracy and defense.
Although on a two-fight skid, Angela Hill arguably should have won those two, which would have put her on a five-fight win streak. She's a machine on the feet and peppers her opponents upstairs and to the body, while mixing in leg kicks. Nothing crazy power-wise, but her volume forces her opponents to defend or shoot. Yoder will more than likely do just that right from the get-go. She isn’t the best striker, though she’s aggressive in bringing the fight. As her strength lies within her grappling, watch for her to close in on Hill, avoiding the strikes at range with hopes of controlling on the mat. Hill's grappling has improved, and we've seen her defend the takedowns and control from the mat herself with excellent positions.
Prediction: Both fighters don’t pack much power and are also very durable. While Yoder has never been finished, Hill has only been finished via submission on two occasions. The lines are pretty wide even when looking at props with this fight. Although I see Hill winning a decision, I can't box myself into the prop, which is surging close to -175 or worse.
FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT 145LBS: ALEX CACERES 17-12 VS KEVIN CROOM 21-12
- Croom is dropping down from 155 for this fight.
- Croom's debut with the UFC lasted just 31 seconds, where he won via submission against Roosevelt Roberts. The fight was later overturned to a no-contest as Croom was suspended for marijuana use.
- Caceres is riding a three-fight win streak, and five of his last seven wins have come by way of decision.
- Croom is 2-2 against southpaws.
Caceres has grown up in the UFC. Now with 22 fights in the organization, he is on a little run, and with a win on Saturday, he makes it four straight. He's only 32, so in a sense, he's probably right in the prime of his career with substantial experience behind him. As a rangy southpaw, his output is a bit awkward, and he throws a decent jab with some occasional power from his left. He keeps his hands down, leaving himself open, which could cause some issues here with a fast starter like Croom. After finishing 12 of his opponents in the very first round (13 if you count Roberts), you'd have to think Caceres' team has been preparing to weather a quick storm. Croom is highly motivated to make another statement, so expect some flashy stuff on the go. Caceres can stay composed, and he will have the advantage on the feet. This will become more and more apparent as the fight goes on, but I can't sleep on Croom.
Prediction: I expect a wild start with Caceres thrown off his game plan. Croom can get this done but has to stay composed and listen to his corner. Krause has been on a little roll.
Bet: Kevin Croom +170
PRELIMS NOTES, PREDICTIONS & WAGERS
LIGHTWEIGHT BOUT 155LBS: ALEXANDER HERNANDEZ 12-3 VS THIAGO MOISES 14-4
- After winning eight straight, Hernandez has recently alternated wins and losses in his last four bouts.
- Win or lose, five of Hernandez’s last seven fights have ended via knockout.
- Moises has a very low percentage of knockout wins (21%) and has never been finished.
Hernandez’s move to Factory X seems to have helped the cause. After getting humbled by Cowboy Cerrone, Hernandez went on to alternate wins and losses and recently finished Chris Gruetzemacher in less than two minutes. He has great movement and is pretty slick at cutting off the cage, keeping his opponents in range. He can switch stances and has power from both sides. This, coupled with his aggressiveness, will match up well for him against Moises, who doesn't seem comfortable on his feet. His boxing defense is mysterious, and although he has some power, the shots coming his way will cause some issues. If this gets down, Moises will look for a sub rather than riding a fight out from the top. Strength-wise, I'd be surprised if Moises overpowers Hernandez as they tie-up. Moises has never been finished and has only been knocked down once in his UFC career.
Prediction: Both have great cardio, but I see Hernandez and the pace he pushes making a difference.
Bet: Alexander Hernandez -190 (look via DEC +130)
WELTERWEIGHT BOUT 170LBS: ALEX OLIVEIRA 22-9-1 VS RAMAZAN KURAMAGOMEDOV 8-0
- Kuramagomedov is making his much anticipated UFC debut on very short notice.
- Oliveira has gone to a decision in four of his last five fights.
- Oliveira’s last five defeats have all been by finish.
Kuramagomedov gets the call with just four days' notice. Oliveira is a tough dude and seems to answer the call to fight as much as he can. He’s gone 2-4 in his last six fights, and I’d be curious if he’s just racking up paychecks, or going in with established gameplans, or if he's falling off a bit. We know Oliveira; he's another rangy guy and is constant with counter shots. He'll bait his opponents in while holding his hands low and will storm his opponent when separated. He's a dangerous fighter and still has that one-punch knockout power. Kuramagomedov has impressed as well, and although this will be his debut, he’s defeated some decent opponents along the way. He has experience in ACB, PFL, and DWCS and has stretched his professional record to 8-0, only being in danger in one fight. That fight was against Jordan Williams, where he was wobbled but weathered the storm edging out a split decision. You have to consider Williams is a 185lb fighter, and Kuramagomedov resides at 170lb. Kuramogomedov can mix things up in there as he'll throw spinning shots, high knees, then surprise you with some grappling. From a distance, he can be puzzling, as his distance control is excellent, making him a challenge to land on at times.
Prediction: Even with the very short notice, I expect Kuramagomedov to make this a great fight. The Russian trains out of Xtreme Couture, so it will be just a grasshopper jump over to the Apex. I like the technical game versus the bully here. I expect a good showing in a back-and-forth fight with Kuramagomedov notching his first UFC win.
Bet: Ramazan Kuramagomedov -110
WOMEN’S BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135LBS: ALEXIS DAVIS 19-10 VS SABINA MAZO 9-1
- Davis is on a three-fight losing streak and moves back up to bantamweight after going 1-3 at 125lbs.
- Davis's last five fights have gone to a decision.
- After losing her UFC debut, Mazo has won three straight. All of her UFC fights have entered the third round.
- Mazo has never been finished.
- Davis is 13 years older than her opponent. (36-23)
Davis hasn't been too active at this stage of her career, and in this spot, gets a step down in competition in the likes of rising star Sabina Mazo. Mazo is the much younger fighter, almost setting this one up as a changing of the guard type fight. Mazo will be the better striker, but her takedown defense will be tested again, as Davis can grapple. The closest to this was the Mazo/Moroz fight, where Moroz handed Mazo the first loss of her career by outgrappling her and controlling against the fence. We could see something similar here: Davis utilizes her grappling and cardio rather than getting sucked into a striking affair.
Prediction: If Mazo can avoid getting takedowns, she should cruise.
Bet: No play
BANTAMWEIGHT BOUT 135LBS: VINCE CACHERO 7-3 VS RONNIE LAWRENCE 6-1
- Lawrence will be making his UFC debut after going 6-1 and winning his last three straight, including his fight on DWCS last September.
- Cachero is moving back down to 135lbs after losing his last fight at 145.
- Both fighters' average fight time overall is less than 2.5 rounds.
We last saw Ronnie Lawrence winning an upset on the DWCS last September when he won a unanimous decision over Jose Johnson. His creativity in a fight has his opponents shielding up and down, while Lawrence is quick to attack the openings. He has great kicks, and these will come into play in this fight. Don't sleep on his wrestling either. Cachero entered the UFC on a short notice fight and up a weight class and ultimately dropped a decision to Jamall Emmers. His back is against the wall as he’s lost three of his last four, and a loss to a debuting fighter here could lean towards a pink slip. Cachero lacks some power as well, and on the feet, he’ll look to counter and follow with forward pressure. He only possesses a 28% takedown defense, and when he gets on his back, he tends to struggle. Lawrence can't get too greedy, as Cochero has been known to lock in a choke or two, but ultimately, Lawrence should be able to stay the course and avoid.
Prediction: If these two stand at a distance, Cachero should have the edge, but as long as Lawrence can close and/or take this one down, he should win a unanimous decision.
Bet: Ronnie Lawrence -160
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT 205LBS: DUSTIN JACOBY 13-5 VS MAXIM GRISHIN 31-8-2
- Bouncing between heavyweight and light heavyweight, Grishin hasn’t lost in his last 10 fights at 205lbs, and is 20-1-2 in the division.
- After winning his UFC debut via knockout against Justin Ledet in round 1, Jacoby now has nine of his wins coming via knockout in the very first round.
- Grishin has very low output on the feet, only landing 2.08 significant strikes per minute, with low accuracy.
Grishin's fighting style typically doesn't put much effort with the takedowns, and against a former (successful) Glory kickboxer here, it makes for what looks to be a great stand-up war to kick off the night. Jacoby made his way back to MMA a few years back, and only after three fights, he's already on the cusp of hitting the rankings soon. He's very fast and comes looking to end the fight early, though if his opponent makes the end of round one, Jacoby becomes more composed and clocks in for work. You'll see from him a consistency of great distance control while standing, along with durability and above-average defense, if he's not the one scoring. His footwork is a testament to his years of combat experience. Standing across from him will be a very tough out in Maxim Grishin. Across 41 pro fights, Grishin has only been knocked out three times and has had great success in the light heavyweight division. He can switch stances and typically mixes in kicks that land. In his last fight, Grishin finished off Gadzhimurad Antigulov via TKO in the second round. I observed a fighter calling it a night and just allowing Grishin to do what he wanted. His style is more of looking to land single calculated shots with low volume. This could favor Jacoby in this matchup.
Prediction: Stylistically, I like Jacoby here. A key will be him conserving along the way. If anything, I could see him slow late, allowing Grishin back into a fight. Jacoby should do enough.
OFFICIAL BET CONFIDENCE RANKING
- Hernandez -190 (DEC +130)
- Lawrence -160
- Bueno Silva -143
- Kuramagomedov -110
- Croom +170
THE GUPPY SPECIAL
Now, this is no “whale play," and actually, it's completely the opposite. This one is for pure entertainment purposes only. Many of you know that I've run the board a handful of times as I've thrown out predictions, and one of these week's we will hit one of these "guppies."
I’d say use this play to round your balance off at your book, and if we hit, we’re going to Sizzler.
This week's Guppy Special (odds from DraftKings):
- Bueno Silva
Parlay pays +2205
FULL CARD PREDICTIONS
- CIRYL GANE defeats JAIRZINHO ROZENSTRUIK
- MAGOMED ANKALAEV defeats NIKITA KRYLOV
- MAYRA BUENO SILVA defeats MONTANA DE LA ROSA
- JIMMIE RIVERA defeats PEDRO MUNHOZ
- ANGELA HILL defeats ASHLEY YODER
- KEVIN CROOM defeats ALEX CACERES
- ALEXANDER HERNANDEZ defeats THIAGO MOISES
- RAMAZAN KURAMAGOMEDOV defeats ALEX OLIVEIRA
- SABINA MAZO defeats ALEX DAVIS
- RONNIE LAWRENCE defeats VINCE CACHERO
- DUSTIN JACOBY defeats MAXIM GRISHIN
UFC PREDICTION BET SUMMARY
- 2021 Fight card predictions overall: 37-32 (54%)
- 2021 Targeted matchups (wagers): 22-29 (43%)
Be sure to check out DraftKings Sportsbook options as well, on top of the daily fantasy tournaments available for Saturday. The sportsbook has lines up and available for fight lines, method of victory, and round betting!
UFC FIGHT NIGHT DFS PLAYS & STRATEGIES
- Choose active fighters. Coupling an active fighter on his/her way to a unanimous decision will give you key points for your team. Just like any other DFS traditional sport, you want the active, offensive player that scores. Key metrics here are SLpM and TD AVG/15min.
- Play the heavyweights. The approximate overall finish rate in the UFC is 54%. Most of the weight divisions range from 40%-60%, while the heavyweights push a 75% finish rate. You will receive bonus points for finishes inside the distance.
- Try always to include the main event or title fights. Five-round fights mean more time to rack up points if you pick the right fighter. In some cases, even if you have the loser, the points can be more than a three-round winner.
- Don't get excited and rush a pick based on stats; consider sample size. Some fighters have limited fights compared to their opponents when looking at metrics. Stats could be exaggerated. Do your research. Watch for spots with debuting fighters as well. Always check the records of the opponents they faced on their way to the UFC. Always pull fight tape as well. You’d be surprised at what you will find.
- Review methods of victory. I supply the finish rates within this article, and as you dive in even more, you can compare method of victory to method of loss for the matchups. For example, you can find matchups where Fighter A has a high % of submission victories matched up with Fighter B, with a high % of submission losses.
As mentioned in the tip sheet above, here’s my MMA DFS Heat Chart for UFC Fight Night. As you can see, the chart is ranked based on fight finish odds. Fight finishes are where the points are in MMA DFS. Take a glance at the stack, and we will break down the individual matchups below.
Two key offensive metrics are strikes and takedowns. They get off on their opponents; watch your points rack up quickly. Here's my Offensive Output Meter for the card. With this chart, you can compare historical fighter averages in these two key metrics as I rank all fighters participating Saturday.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT DFS RECOMMENDATIONS
- Fighters that typically press the action, land takedowns, and/or high finish rates matched up against those that get finished, roster them. (see my charts above)
- Fights projected to NOT go to a decision
- Gane/Rozenstruik -255
- Ankalaev/Krylov -195
- Oliveira/Kuramagomedov -130
- Jacoby/Grishin -120
- As usual, take a look at the main event with five rounds to score. Both fighters have upside based on pricing. Gane should be popular, but it's hard to look past Rozenstruik at his ridiculous price tag. Exposure to both if you play multi. (Don’t stack)
- Top-tier fighters to build around include: Ankalaev, Gane, Hill
- Mid-tier fighter considerations are: Bueno Silva, Hernandez, Jacoby, Lawrence
- Live dogs that could score: Rozenstruik, De La Rosa, Croom, Krylov
Good luck, everyone. I hope to see some of you cashing after Saturday night! Follow me on Twitter @Y2CASEY