- Date & Location: Saturday, June 5, 2021, @ UFC Apex in Las Vegas
- Odds: Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-120) vs. Augusto Sakai (+100) BetOnline
- Prediction: Rozenstruik via knockout
On Saturday, the UFC returns after a week off for UFC Vegas 28. The fight card takes place on June 5 at UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Top-10 ranked heavyweights, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai headline the event, which streams on ESPN+.
Rozenstruik, who is the No. 6 ranked fighter in the official UFC heavyweight rankings, opened his MMA career on a 10-0 run. The Surinamese scrapper had four knockouts in his first four UFC bouts, including stoppages of Alistair Overeem and Andrei Arlovski. He is 1-2 in his past three fights. Rozenstruik losses are to Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane.
Sakai checks in at No. 9 in the heavyweight division. He was on a 15-1-1 run when he faced Overeem in September. Overeem won that fight via fifth-round TKO. Sakai has not fought since that setback. He was 4-0 in his UFC career before that. The Brazilian had two knockouts and two decisions in those outings.
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|Fighter 1||Fighter 2|
|Jan Blachowicz||-370||+280||Glover Teixeira|
|Daniel Hooker||+440||-650||Islam Makhachev|
|Alexander Volkov||-290||+225||Marcin Tybura|
|Petr Yan||-280||+220||Cory Sandhagen|
ROZENSTRUIK vs. SAKAI PREDICTION & PICK
It’s hard to deny Rozenstruik’s ability to end a fight with one strike. In his second UFC outing, Rozenstruik decked Allen Crowder in nine seconds. Against Overeem, “Bigi Boy” scored a knockout win with four seconds remaining in the five-round contest. Ten of Rozenstruik’s wins have come through knockout.
One concern about Rozenstruik is his defense. He gets hit more than he lands and his striking defense is only 39 percent. In comparison. Sakai has a striking defense of 50 percent.
Despite his lack of defense, I think Rozenstruik’s power will carry the day.
Prediction: Rozenstruik -120 via Bovada.
BETTING VALUE WITH ROZENSTRUIK
I’ll start with Sakai. I think he is a live underdog. He has good footwork and movement for a heavyweight. He also has a tendency to blitz his opponents. If Rozenstruik gets off to a slow start and the fight goes deep into the late rounds, Sakai can score a decision win. He’ll be an even better value for a victory if he outstrikes Rozenstruik.
Rozenstruik is a knockout machine. He can also go five rounds. His win over Overeem showed Rozenstruik is always in a fight because of his power, but it has to be noted that he was on his way to losing that matchup until he scored the knockout. The reason Overeem was ahead was his output and accuracy. He landed at a 70 percent clip, while Rozenstruik scored with 42 percent of his significant strikes.
I think Rozenstruik will get the knockout win, but I can’t ignore that he could also get outpointed by Sakai.
Pick: Rozenstruik -125 via knockout via BetUs.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Rozenstruik has the power edge. Sakai has the edge in technical skills. I believe that’s the reason the odds are close as they are for this matchup. Either fighter has a route to victory.
I do think the power will be the difference in this fight, especially with it being a heavyweight scrap. Rozenstruik just has to find the off button once to win, Sakai will have to grind 25 minutes to get the win, and that’s why I favor Rozenstruik.
FIGHT STATS: ROZENSTRUIK vs. SAKAI
|Jairzinho Rozenstruik||Category||Augusto Sakai|
|3.14||Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute||5.32|
|3.48||Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute||4.02|
|0.00||Takedown Average Per 15 Minutes||0.15|
|0.00||Submission Average Per 15 Minutes||0.00|
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
With recent losses neither of these men will get a shot at the heavyweight title in 2021, however, if the winner can start a winning streak on Saturday night, they could see their fortunes change in 2022. This fight is an important one for both Rozenstruik and Sakai.
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