The wait is finally over. After twelve-straight weeks of UFC events, the two-week break from UFC action we just experienced seemed interminable.
It wasn’t bereft of UFC news, though, as three of the sport’s biggest stars – Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Jon Jones – all had future fights announced. But now, finally, we have an event this Saturday we can breakdown and decide what to bet on.
That event would be UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs Rozenstruik, which goes down this Saturday night from the Capital One Arena in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. (and broadcast on ESPN).
The main event pits long-time top heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem against up-and-coming slugger Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Rozenstruik just fought last month and is taking this fight on short notice after former headliner Walt Harris had to withdraw after the horrific kidnapping and murder of his teenage stepdaughter.
Rozenstruik is a perfect 9-0 in his nascent MMA career, with eight of those wins coming via (T)KO. Overeem, on the other hand, has 63 (!!) professional MMA fights on his resume, and has won his last two fights via quick KOs. However, he does have a suspect chin, and Rozenstruik is obviously a knockout machine, so it could be an exciting affair between the two former kickboxers. The veteran Dutch striker is currently a slight -125 betting favorite over the Surinamese upstart.
I’m on a 4-0 streak with my picks, so let’s see if we can make it 6-0 after this weekend.
Stefan Struve (+115) vs Ben Rothwell
The tallest man in UFC history (6’11”), Stefan Struve, is back after a brief retirement from the sport. And while it’s a common trope that you can’t have one foot in, one foot out in this sport and survive, I still like The Skyscraper in this matchup with Ben Rothwell.
Rothwell has dropped two straight fights since being on the shelf for three years after a drug suspension, and he hasn’t knocked out an opponent in five years (six fights ago). He seems to be relying more on his jiu jitsu as of late, and Struve has only been submitted once in his career – 12 years ago. I’m giving the nod to the big man – and underdog – in this one.
Virna Jandiroba (-280) vs Mallory Martin
Mallory Martin will be the third opponent penciled in across from Virna Jandiroba’s name on this card, as Cortney Casey and Livia Renata Souza both have dropped out of the matchup. So not only will the 25-year-old Martin be making her UFC debut, she’ll also be doing it on short notice (less than two weeks). And she’ll be stepping in against the former Invicta FC Strawweight Champion who is 14-1.
While Jandiroba did lose her last fight, her UFC debut, she probably has too much experience for Martin to overcome in this matchup. While Martin has beaten quality opponents over her eight fight pro career, she’s dropped both fights when she’s faced a step up in competition. I guess there’s a reason Jandiroba is a healthy betting favorite in this one.
Overall Results for This Column
Earnings (based on $100 bet per): (-$82.86)
Return on Investment: N/A