UFC Fight Night Odds, Picks, and Predictions Volkov vs. Rozenstruik
UFC Fight Night Odds, Picks, and Predictions Volkov vs. Rozenstruik
MMA handicapper Christian Broughton gives his best bets for this weekend’s UFC card, UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Rozenstruik. Let's dive into the picks, predictions, and odds for UFC Fight Night.
Bet of the Card: (2u) Alexander Volkov via Decision @ +260 (to Return 7.2 Units)
Main Event - Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 6:45 p.m. EST.
Alexander Volkov will benefit from a 5-inch height (6’7” vs. 6’2”) and a 2-inch reach (80” vs. 78”) advantage over Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
Rozenstruik is 0-2 in his fights that have gone to a decision in the UFC.
I don't like it when people start to label light heavyweight and heavyweight fighters as "on the decline", whilst they're still in their early-to-mid 30's, mostly because their longevity is so strong that they're never truly on the other side of the hill until they're getting stopped regularly, and clearly lack the gas tank or finishing ability that they once wielded. This narrative has been attributed to fighters like Andrei Arlovski, Marcin Tybura, and Glover Teixeira, to name a few recent examples, and all of them have dispelled the moniker emphatically. And now, it seems like people are quick to say that Volkov looks to be on the backslide already, at just 33-years-old.
Don't get me wrong, it's fair to say that he has looked out of sorts in his last two/three fights, but can we really say that this isn't a slight blip on the radar of someone who is now a 44-fight veteran, who should still be in his prime years as a heavyweight. I think if we never saw his past 3 fights take place, he'd be around -250 here, and I understand that there is rightfully some apprehension with betting him now, but I don't see enough to equate for the gulf between the aforementioned line, and what we're getting actually getting this week (-150 best odds).
Rozenstruik is low volume, low risk, and huge power. He is a dangerous man, especially when he's got 5-rounds to wait, but against someone who has a massive height and range advantage over him, combined with greater speed and volume, it really limits his knockout threat.
Takedowns could be a good path to victory for Volkov, but with Rozenstruik having a semblance of takedown defense, and Volkov being reluctant to go for takedowns in most cases, I'm expecting this to be predominantly a striking affair.
Rozenstruik will have his moments, and as we've seen in the past, Volkov isn't immune to getting caught and hurt, but I fancy his elusiveness and utilization of his range, to pay off in this fight, more often than not.
I'm partial to playing Volkov's moneyline straight, but I see added value in loading up on his decision prop. Rozenstruik has only ever been KO'ed once in his career (and that was against the behemoth, Francis N'Gannou), and although he does have grappling deficiencies, Volkov isn't someone who has actively looked to submit his opponents at the UFC level.
My bet here is Volkov via decision, as I see it as his most likely path to victory, and although I feel like his moneyline is a little undervalued, I think this prop yields the greater value of the two, and I’ll just have to bite the bullet if he gets the stoppage win.
(1u) Johnny Munoz Jr. Inside the Distance @ +225 (to Return 3.25 Units)
Preliminary Card - Bantamweight (135lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 2:10 p.m. EST.
7 of Johnny Munoz’s 11 pro wins have come via submission.
Tony Gravely has 7 pro losses, 5 of which were due to submissions (per Tapology.com).
Tony Gravely is one of those fighters that is less than the sum of his parts. He offers decent striking and good wrestling, and he generally fights to a game plan. Although, despite this, he tends to come unglued, and fights beneath the level that we should expect from someone of his athleticism and raw skills.
Munoz is just on the come up now and is clearly a lesser all-around fighter than Gravely at this stage of his young MMA career, but he has the x-factor of an elite submission game, and he hasn't shown a tendency to collapse when the going gets tough, which is what we've seen from Gravely in the past.
All in all, Gravely does deserve to be the favorite in this fight, but Munoz is a strong underdog, and I can see him getting Gravely in all sorts of trouble on the mat. Neither man has shown to be too content to strike for long periods, so I'd expect this fight to get there regularly, and in doing so, it should create plenty of opportunities for Munoz to fish for submissions, against a fighter in Gravely, who has proven to have defensive deficiencies on the ground.
For these reasons, I'm going to be making a small play on Munoz's “inside the distance” prop. I think perhaps the moneyline could be a touch closer, but as I see the bulk of Munoz’s wins coming via submission (or ground and pound TKO), this prop does offer up disproportionately higher value.
(1u) Zhalgas Zhumagulov Moneyline @ +160 (to Return 2.6 Units)
Preliminary Card - Flyweight (125lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 1:50 p.m. EST.
Jeff Molina has a takedown defense percentage of just 37% (per UFCStats.com).
Zhalgas Zhumagulov has had a rough run in the UFC thus far, but it’s important to remember that just prior to him joining the promotion, he had 3-straight wins against the likes of Tyson Nam, Tagir Ulanbekov, and Ali Bagautinov.
I'm starting to come around to believing in Jeff Molina as a prospect. He's got grit, speed, and insane volume. However, he also looks to be prone to getting into firefights, and he lacks the physicality that the stronger fighters in the division have in spades. That said, he will be the larger man in this fight, so that won't be a factor here, but the precision and calculated striking of Zhumagulov could prove troublesome, as he's the most strategic fighter Molina has fought to date.
It appears to me that Molina is riding into this one on a high after winning each of his first 3 UFC/Contender Series fights, whereas the market is ice cold on Zhumagulov after he’s gone 1-3 in the organization, but it's important to remember that he was once held in high regard, and he's only really faltered against fighters that we know are at a high level.
I trust Molina will come into this fight with a ton of confidence, and with great tutelage under coach, James Krause, but if Zhumagulov fights to the standard that we know he can produce, he should be able to make this a very close affair. Molina may be the slightly faster man, but I like Zhumagulov as the more polished fighter, and the one with a strong grappling upside, that could lead to him edging rounds, or even snagging a submission. So, for these reasons, I like the small ‘dog shot on Zhumagulov in this one.
Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.
Event: UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Rozenstruik / UFC on ESPN+ 65 / UFC Vegas 56 / #UFCVegas56
Location & Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Date: Saturday, June 4th, 2022
Start Time: Main Card: 4 p.m. EST., Prelims: 1 p.m. EST.
Where to Watch: Main Card on ESPN+, Prelim Card on ESPN+
UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Rozenstruik Full Fight Card Predictions:
UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Rozenstruik Main Event Prediction:
Heavyweight (265lbs): Alexander Volkov vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik – Volkov via Decision
UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Rozenstruik Main Card Predictions:
Featherweight (145lbs): Dan Ige vs. Movsar Evloev – Evloev via Decision
Featherweight (145lbs): Mike Trizano vs. Lucas Almeida – Trizano via Decision
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Karine Silva vs. Poliana Botelho – Botelho via Decision
Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Alonzo Menifield vs. Askar Mozharov – Menifield via Submission
(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz – Herrig via Decision
UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Rozenstruik Prelim Card Predictions:
Lightweight (155lbs): Joe Solecki vs. Alex da Silva – Solecki via Submission
Featherweight (145lbs): Damon Jackson vs. Daniel Argueta – Jackson via Submission
Flyweight (125lbs): Ode Osbourne vs. Zarrukh Adashev – Osbourne via Decision
Lightweight (155lbs): Niklas Stolze vs. Benoit Saint-Denis – Stolze via Decision
Bantamweight (135lbs): Johnny Munoz Jr. vs. Tony Gravely – Munoz via Submission
Flyweight (125lbs): Jeff Molina vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov – Zhumagulov via Decision
Welterweight (170lbs): Rinat Fakhretdinov vs. Andreas Michailidis – Fakhretdinov via KO/TKO
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Erin Blanchfield vs. JJ Aldrich – Blanchfield via Decision
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.