By Jed Meshew | | 4 mins
UFC Vegas 28 Odds, Rozenstruik vs Sakai Tips & Predictions
After a one-week hiatus, the UFC returns to action this weekend with a Fight Night card headlined by a key matchup in the heavyweight division. In the main event, hard-hitting knockout artist Jairzinho Rozenstruik takes on fast-rising prospect Augusto Sakai in a bout that offers great UFC betting opportunities, and sets the winner up to make a run at the heavyweight title.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Augusto Sakai Betting Analysis & Odds
|Jairzinho Rozenstruik, -130||Augusto Sakai, +105|
Odds via DraftKings and correct as of publication.
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Rozenstruik burst onto the UFC scene in 2019, scoring four highlight reel knockouts in his first four bouts. However, in what was effectively a title eliminator last year, Rozenstruik was flatlined by Francis Ngannou in just 20 seconds.
The native of Suriname rebounded with a KO victory over former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos later that year, but once again faltered this February when he was thoroughly outclassed by Ciryl Gane. Now, Rozenstruik is looking to regain the form that had many believing he would be a future title challenger.
Rozenstruik is a striker by trade, having had success as a professional kickboxer before transitioning to MMA, and he hasn’t shown much of a ground game thus far in his career. That hasn’t come into play much, though, as opponents have been content to engage him on the feet, likely because his style invites them to do so.
Rozenstruik shows flashes of elite defense but largely he’s happy to back up and let fights come to him, with the plan of hitting his advancing opponent harder than he gets hit in return. It has been mostly an effective plan, but it has been a key factor in his two losses; that math doesn’t work against Ngannou and Gane just outworked Rozenstruik over five rounds. The latter is what he runs the risk of in this bout.
Augusto Sakai is a hard-nosed grinder with a well-rounded game, but he is hampered by one fatal flaw: His physicality. More so than any other division in MMA, the heavyweight division is stratified by combatants' physical gifts.
To rise to the very top of the division, you have to be athletic, durable and powerful, and Sakai doesn’t have an excess of any of those traits. Sakai went to a split decision with 40-year old Andrei Arlovski, and was outlasted by 40-year old Alistair Overeem, neither of whom were renowned for their durability even during their peak years. Sakai simply lacks the physical tools necessary to compete with the best in the division.
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Rozenstruik vs. Sakai Best Bet
Rozenstruik is prone to inactivity but this is a perfect style matchup for him. Sakai prefers to force the action and press forward, which will give Rozenstruik plenty of opportunities to counter Sakai into the shadow realm.
If Sakai was more durable or more threatening on his feet, that could give one pause. But with him lacking either of those attributes, this should be a straightforward KO win for Rozenstruik, probably in the second or third round. As such, Rozenstruik by KO/TKO at +145 on FanDuel is the best bet on the card.
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Other Bets We’re Making
Walt Harris vs. Marcin Tybura
The fact that Tybura is the favorite here with many of the top sportsbooks is a bit curious. Yes, he’s on a four-fight win streak and Harris has lost two in a row, but Harris’ losses came to the best of the division, and it wasn’t that long ago that Tybura lost to Sakai.
This is a competitive fight but I favor Harris’ physicality and southpaw stance so I like him straight up at +140 on FOX Bet.
UFC Vegas 28 Date, Time & TV Info
When: Saturday, June 5 - Prelims at 4 p.m. ET, Main Card at 7 p.m. ET
Where: UFC APEX, Las Vegas, NV