- Date & Location: Saturday, February 27 @ UFC Apex in Las Vegas
- Odds: Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+220) vs. Ciryl Gane (-280) via Bovada
- Prediction: Gane vs submission
Neither Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane have been with the UFC for a long while, but they have both rocketed up the official UFC heavyweight rankings on the strength of their performances in the octagon. On Saturday, February 27, the two big men headline the UFC Vegas 20 fight card from UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Rozenstruik was 6-0 when he joined the UFC in early 2019. Today the 32-year-old is 11-1. The Surinamese fighter began his UFC career with five knockout wins. In his sixth bout with the promotion, Francis Ngannou knocked out Rozenstruik in the first round. Rozenstruik bounced back with a second-round TKO win over former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos in his next outing. Rozenstruik is currently ranked at No. 3 in the heavyweight division.
The 30-year-old Gane also joined the UFC in 2019. He was 3-0 in MMA at the time. The French fighter remains unbeaten. He has three finishes and one decision win in his UFC career. Gane’s most recent victory was a December TKO victory over Dos Santos. He is currently ranked No. 7 in the UFC heavyweight division.
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ROZENSTRUIK VS. GANE PREDICTION & PICK
This bout was initially set to serve as the co-main event on the card, but when the fight between Dominick Reyes and Jiri Prochazka fell through, the UFC moved this heavyweight scrap to top billing. These two might not have the name recognition of other UFC competitors, but this should be a fun fight for as long as it lasts.
Both men are accomplished strikers. It’s true that neither athlete has a large body of MMA work, but they have been around the combat sports world for some time and they can strike with the best of the UFC heavyweight division.
As a pure MMA striker, Rozenstruik is the better of the two, but as a game planner and as an all-around fighter, the nod goes to Gane.
Prediction: Gane -265 via BetOnline
BETTING VALUE WITH GANE
When it comes to heavyweight fights, betting is always a risky proposition. That risk increases exponentially when the two fighters have combined for 13 knockouts in 18 victories.
I like Gane in this fight because of his patience and ability to control the pace of the fight. I also like that he is unafraid to go to the mat if he thinks he can get the win there. With his unbeaten record and three submission wins, I think Gane’s confidence will also play a factor.
If you’re going to bet on a knockout finish, I would say go with the fighter you think has the power to finish the fight by surprise.
Another thing to consider is a prop bet on the length of the fight. I think these two will be very patient and not want to make mistakes. I feel this one should get past the second round and I wouldn’t be surprised if it went into the championship rounds.
My feeling is that Gane will win and I think he’s going to test the takedown defense and ground game of Rozenstruik. With that, I’m going with Gane for the victory via submission.
Pick: Gane -264 via submission at MyBookie
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Rozenstruik has the edge as a pure striker. He has more experience and skill in that realm, but as an MMA fighter, the nod goes to Gane. With how little experience he has in MMA, he has adapted very well to fighting inside the octagon. He is confident, powerful, athletic, and patient. Most notable is how he doesn’t try to force things and has a willingness to take what the fight offers him. While his first love might be striking, he does not force his striking. I also love the way he improves from fight to fight. I don’t think either of these competitors has hit their MMA ceiling, but I think Gane can and will rise higher than his opponent.
FIGHT STATS: ROZENSTRUIK VS. GANE
|Jairzinho Rozenstruik||Category||Ciryl Gane|
|4.04||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||5.61|
|3.10||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||1.95|
|0.00||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||1.08|
|0.00||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.7|
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Don’t expect either of these men to come out of this fight and get a title shot. The next heavyweight title fight takes place on March 27 when the division champion, Stipe Miocic, meets Francis Ngannou in a rematch. The winner of that contest is likely to face the former light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones. Derrick Lewis is also in the mix after his massive knockout win over Curtis Blaydes at UFC Vegas 19 on February 20.
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