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MMA handicapper Christian Broughton breaks down his best bets for this weekend’s under-the-radar UFC card, UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai

Bet of the Card: (2u) Over 2.5 Rounds @ +100 (to Return 4 Units)

(0.5u) Augusto Sakai via Decision @ +400 (to Return 2.5 Units)

Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Augusto Sakai

Main Event - Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9:45 p.m. EST.

  • Both of Jairzinho Rozenstruik’s 5 round fights within the UFC have gone over 2.5 rounds, with them going for a combined time of 49 minutes and 56 seconds.
  • 4 of Augusto Sakai’s last 5 fights have gone over 2.5 rounds, 2 of which he won via decision (per Tapology.com).

I’m not sure how, and I’m not sure why, but this is our main event for Saturday night, topping what is a pretty solid Fight Night card.

Both Rozenstruik and Sakai are strikers with limited ground games, and often that can make for an all-out-war on the feet, but I don’t see that playing out in this fight. Sakai, a fighter who opts for volume striking rather than power, is the complete inverse of Rozenstruik. This could create openings for either man, with Sakai throwing a multitude of strikes, leaving himself open to being countered by the patient counter-striker, Rozenstruik, or Rozenstruik allowing himself to slowly get outworked for large parts of the fight, likely resulting in a decision loss.

This is of course, a heavyweight fight, and with that there is always extreme volatility due to the sheer power and size of the fighters, but with this stylistic matchup, and the fact that both fighters are notoriously durable, I just have to look at this fight going over the midway point (2.5 rounds).

Rozenstruik will be live to land one of his vicious knockout blows, and although Sakai isn’t a deadly knockout artist, he too has the power to put guys away. But ultimately, I have this being a somewhat boring striking match, with Sakai landing the more strikes and Rozenstruik on the backfoot, staying out of danger, and struggling to get too much offense in.

For this reason, I’m taking the over 2.5 rounds prop for 2 units, as well as a half unit play on Sakai to win via decision at a modest +400.

(1u) Walt Harris via Round 1 KO/TKO @ +650 (to Return 7.5 Units)

Walt Harris vs. Marcin Tybura

Co-Main Event - - Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9:15 p.m. EST.

  • All of Walt Harris’ 13 pro wins have come via KO/TKO, with 11 coming in first round.
  • 4 of Marcin Tybura’s 6 career defeats have come via KO/TKO (per Sherdog.com).

Walt “The Big Ticket” Harris is a guy I’ve looked to fade (bet against) countless times. With all 13 of his career wins coming via knockout, he is one of the best examples of a knockout-or-bust fighter. He always comes out the gates hot, getting into the face of his opponent, looking to overwhelm them early with his size, speed, and outrageous power. Against high-level and/or durable fighters, this often leads to him getting out-manoeuvred or simply out-lasted, with the tide turning against him the later the fight goes on, typically due to fatigue or his sub-par ground game.

Marcin Tybura is in a strange spot. His skills are fairly high-level for a heavyweight, but him lacking athleticism and a chin, is what leads me to believe he can be blown out the water early by The Big Ticket. We’ve seen Tybura KO/TKO’ed 3 times in the UFC, including him collapsing to the aforementioned, Augusto Sakai, in under a minute.

Don’t get me wrong, Tybura has the skills to take Walt Harris down and out-grapple him to either a finish or a decision, but in that first round, he’s going to be in some serious danger. Harris has wrestling under his belt, and although that will weaken once fatigued, he should be able to dictate where the fight takes place early. We’ve seen Tybura crumble in the past to heavy hitters, and considering Harris is one of the top 2 or 3 within the division, he’s got all the chance in the world of catching Tybura and getting the early stoppage.

My second play is on Walt Harris to win via Round 1 KO/TKO for a unit. He does have paths to get a KO (+310) later in the fight, or perhaps even via winning a very low-outcome decision, but by far his strongest path is to score the early knockout.

(0.5u) Youssef Zalal via Submission @ +1200 (to Return 6.5 Units)

Youssef Zalal vs. Sean Woodson

Preliminary Card - Featherweight (145lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 4:30 p.m. EST.

  • 5 of Youssef Zalal’s 10 pro wins have come via submission.
  • Sean Woodson has 1 pro loss and 1 amateur loss, both of which have come via submission (per Tapology.com).

This is a really fun prelim fight, and it’s actually perfect to see where both prospects are at in their respective careers. I’m actually seeing strong cases for either guy getting the win here, but there is one prop that really stands out to me as value.

Youssef Zalal has shown us that he is an active grappler over his 5 UFC fights. His 2.4 takedowns averaged, and 1.4 submission attempts averaged (per 15 minutes) in the octagon (per UFCStats.com), is pretty high, especially when considering he’s mainly a striker. This is not to say that he’s some world-beater on the mat, but that he likes to engage in grappling, and that can create submission opportunities against the right kind of opposition.

Sean Woodson is an extremely unique featherweight. His 6'2" frame and 79.0" reach (per _Tapology._com) is practically unheard of for a 145-pounder, and this can create a ton of problems against fighters looking to strike at range with him. A way fighters will often look to work around this, is by trying to take him down and turn the fight into a grappling match. We’ve actually seen all 3 of Woodson’s combined UFC/DWCS opponents do this to him, with a total of 6 takedowns being landed on him. This hasn’t always been an issue for Woodson, but against Julian Erosa in his last fight, we saw him dominated on the ground, particularly late on, and this ended up with Erosa scoring a third-round submission victory.

I’m not saying that Zalal is as polished on the mat as Erosa, but with his grappling-heavy style of fighting, mixed with Woodson’s propensity to give up takedowns, we could see plenty of opportunities for Zalal to control from top position, or even take Woodson’s back. We’ve seen in the past that Zalal isn’t always effective in these positions but considering how inexperienced Woodson has looked off his back, the submission might just come easily to Zalal.

All in all, this is a close fight, and it could go either way, and there are reasons why Zalal’s sub prop is as high as it is, but at +1200, it’s a little wide, and it’s definitely getting a half unit play from me. 

Scroll down to view event details, odds & Christian’s full card predictions.

Event: UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai / UFC Fight Night 189 / UFC on ESPN+ 47 / UFC Vegas 28 / #UFCVegas28

Location & Venue: UFC Apex, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Date: Saturday, June 5th, 2021

Start time: Main Card: 7 p.m. EST, Prelims 4 p.m. EST.

Where to watch: Main Card on ESPN+, Prelims on ESPN+

UFC Odds: Click here to view the full list of odds for UFC Fight Night: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Augusto Sakai

UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai Full Fight Card Predictions:

UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai Main Event Prediction:

Heavyweight (265lbs): Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Augusto Sakai – Sakai via Decision

UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai Main Card Predictions:

Heavyweight (265lbs): Walt Harris vs. Marcin Tybura – Harris via KO/TKO

Middleweight (185lbs): Roman Dolidze vs. Laureano Staropoli – Dolidze via Decision

Welterweight (170lbs): Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Miguel Baeza – Baeza via KO/TKO

Middleweight (185lbs): Duško Todorović vs. Gregory Rodrigues – Todorović via KO/TKO

Middleweight (185lbs): Tom Breese vs. Antônio Arroyo – Breese via Submission

UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai Prelim Card Predictions:

Featherweight (145lbs): Makwan Amirkhani vs. Kamuela Kirk – Amirkhani via Decision

(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Montana De La Rosa vs. Ariane Lipski – De La Rosa via Decision

Heavyweight (265lbs): Tanner Boser vs. Ilir Latifi – Boser via Decision

Welterweight (170lbs): Muslim Salikhov vs. Francisco Trinaldo – Salikhov via Decision

Welterweight (170lbs): Alan Patrick vs. Mason Jones – Jones via KO/TKO

(W) Flyweight (125lbs): Maryna Moroz vs. Manon Fiorot – Fiorot via Decision

Featherweight (145lbs): Youssef Zalal vs. Sean Woodson – Zalal via Submission

Lightweight (155lbs): Jordan Leavitt vs. Claudio Puelles – Leavitt via Submission

*Fight card, bout order and number of fights subject to change.

Click here to check out the all the Best Odds for the Fights!

Article Author


A former sportsbook trader with a passion for mixed martial arts. If there is value to be found then Christian is the man to find it.


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