Jimmie Rivera Moneyline @ -150
Bet of the Card: (3u) Jimmie Rivera Moneyline @ -150 (to Return 5 Units)
Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera
Main Card Bantamweight (135lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9:15 p.m. EST.
- In their UFC fights that have gone to a decision, Pedro Munhoz is 2-5 and Jimmie Rivera is 6-2, with Rivera already posting a decision win over Munhoz back in November 2015 (per Tapology.com).
- Pedro Munhoz has absorbed more significant strikes against him in the UFC (6.03) than he’s landed on his opponents (5.53) (per UFCStats.com).
Pedro Munhoz is a fighter built with bad intentions and a finisher’s mentality. He throws from the hips with a lot of power and offers a dangerous ground game with one of the most revered guillotines in the whole of MMA. Over time, he has altered his game to fight more patiently, in an attempt to increase his chances of winning decisions, should he not get the finish (pictured below: Pedro Munhoz following his decision victory over Brett Johns). And although this new approach has seen him improve his fight metrics, it still isn’t quite enough to keep his fights close with the upper-echelon guys.
Jimmie Rivera is almost the polar opposite to Munhoz, in the sense that he is almost exclusively a decision fighter. He yields little finishing ability, particularly at the UFC level, although his style works exceptionally well for claiming decisions. He is lightning quick on the feet, has fast hands, and boasts an excellent wrestling game. The one serious drawback with Rivera is his somewhat questionable chin, that we’ve seen cracked in his KO loss to Marlon Moraes, and when he was dropped twice against Petr Yan. This being said, apart from the Moraes loss, he’s always shown phenomenal recovery skills, and if it wasn’t for the durability questions surrounding him, I think we’d be looking at him being priced upwards of -250 for this rematch.
All things considered, Rivera should be able to beat Munhoz on the feet with his technical striking edge, and increased speed and volume. My only real concern is that he gets caught with a clubbing hook from Munhoz as he comes in, or that Munhoz snatches up his legendary guillotine as Rivera shoots in for a takedown, but at -150, Rivera is simply too cheap to pass up on. I’m tempted to grab Jimmie Rivera’s decision prop for added value, but at near even-money, it doesn’t offer up enough for me, so just take his moneyline.
Ciryl Gane by Submission @ +600
(1.1u) Ciryl Gane & Over 1.5 Rounds @ -110 (to Return 2.1 Units)
(0.5u) Ciryl Gane by Submission @ +600 (to Return 3.5 Units)
Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane
Main Event Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 10:45 p.m. EST.
- Ciryl Gane out-matches Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the UFC for: Strikes Landed per Minute (5:61 vs. 4:04), Striking Accuracy (54% vs. 51%), Strikes Absorbed per Min. (1:95 vs. 3:10), Striking Defense (73% vs. 36%), Takedown Average per 15 Min. (1.08 vs. 0), Takedown Accuracy (60% vs. 0%), Takedown Defense (100% vs. 75%), and Submission Attempts Average per 15 Min. (0.7 vs. 0) (per UFCStats.com).
- Ciryl Gane is 4-0 in the UFC and has an average fight time of 10 minutes and 23 seconds (per UFCStats.com).
At first glance, Gane did appear to be a little too wide as a -265 favorite here against Rozenstruik, but upon further review, I kind of understand why the line sits where it is.
A little over a year ago, an aged Alistair Overeem put on a 24+ minute masterclass on Rozenstruik before getting put away in the closing seconds of the fight. Then, less than a year prior to that, Júnior Albini (who’s since been released from the UFC), had a lot of success against Rozenstruik with his grappling in their opening round, before Rozenstruik came back to get the finish in the second. Now, although he came out on top in both fights, neither performance was a great look for someone who is still very raw and fights with low output.
Gane is by far the quicker and more athletic fighter. He doesn't dish-out unbelievable power, but he is extremely technical and calculated. He will have an edge in speed and volume, and should he manage distance half as well as he has done in his past UFC fights, he should be able to avoid Rozenstruik’s fight-ending power shots.
One serious upside I see for Gane, is with his grappling. He's not the most polished wrestler or BJJ practitioner, but against someone with Rozenstruik's grappling ability, he should be able to have his way with him. When on the mat, he works intelligently to progress position and work for submissions, and unlike Overeem, he appears to have the cardio to do this round after round, should he decide to do so.
I’d probably pass on recommending Gane as a parlay piece at -265, but him to win and over 1.5 rounds at -110 (available at BetAmerica) packs a lot more value. In almost all of his UFC fights, he's been extremely patient, and I see him respecting Jairzinho’s power, at least until the fight has progressed beyond the first round and a half. From there, he could either overwhelm Rozenstruik on the feet in the later rounds, take him to the mat and pursue a finish, or simply out-volume him for a unanimous decision victory.
As a half unit additional play, I’ve also taken Gane to win via submission at +600. I see it as his cleanest path to victory, and as we’ve seen in the past, he’s not adverse to chasing submissions against inferior grapplers.
Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.
Event: UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane / UFC Fight Night 186 / UFC on ESPN+ 44 / UFC Vegas 20 / #UFCVegas20
Location & Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Date: Saturday, February 27th, 2021
Start time: Main Card: 8 p.m. EST, Prelims 5 p.m. EST.
Where to watch: Main Card on ESPN+, Prelims on ESPN+
UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane Full Fight Card Predictions:
UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane Main Event Prediction:
Heavyweight (265lbs): Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane – Gane via Submission
UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane Main Card Predictions:
Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Nikita Krylov vs. Magomed Ankalaev – Ankalaev via Decision
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Montana De La Rosa vs. Mayra Bueno Silva – Bueno Silva via Decision
Bantamweight (135lbs): Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera – Rivera via Decision
(W) Strawweight (115lbs): Angela Hill vs. Ashley Yoder – Hill via Decision
Featherweight (145lbs): Alex Caceres vs. Kevin Croom – Caceres via Decision
UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane Prelim Card Predictions:
Lightweight (155lbs): Alexander Hernandez vs. Thiago Moisés – Hernandez via Decision
Welterweight (170lbs): Alex Oliveira vs. Ramazan Kuramagomedov – Kuramagomedov via Decision
(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Alexis Davis vs. Sabina Mazo – Mazo via Decision
Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Alonzo Menifield vs. William Knight – Menifield via KO/TKO
Bantamweight (135lbs): Ronnie Lawrence vs. Vince Cachero – Lawrence via Decision
Light Heavyweight (205lbs): Dustin Jacoby vs. Maxim Grishin – Grishin via Decision
*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.