UFC Fight Night: Almeida vs. Rozenstruik Picks
The UFC is back in North Carolina for the fifth time and the first since 2018 with two knockout artists headlining the main card at heavyweight this Saturday.
Ian Garry is also back in action before two light heavyweights take center stage in a massive bout at 205 lbs.
Here are our picks for the weekend to help with your UFC betting.
Jailton Almeida vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Jairzinho Rozenstruik is looking for just his third win in his past six fights after getting back in the win column with a fantastic knockout win over Chris Daukaus that earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.
After a lot of hype in the early days of his UFC career with four finishes in a row, Rozenstruik went on to lose to Francis Ngannou, Ciryl Gane, Curtis Blaydes and Alexander Volkov.
At the same time, Almeida has gone on to win all four of his fights in the UFC via a finish and he now sits on a 13-fight winning streak. He has also never won any of his 18 fights on points and instead registered 11 submissions and won seven via knockout.
Rozenstruik is an experienced and elite kickboxer. However, Almeida is the full package at heavyweight and no doubt a future contender if he wins this fight.
Jailton Almeida to win in round 2 is +500 with Unibet.
Anthony Smith vs. Johnny Walker
What a fight this is as Anthony Smith steps in for his 54th professional MMA fight in hopes of getting himself into title contention once again against Johnny Walker.
Since losing four fights in five matches during 2019-2022, Walker has gone on to reestablish himself as a serious contender at light heavyweight. After losing to Jamahal Hill last February, Walker submitted Ion Cuțelaba via rear-naked choke before getting a fantastic TKO win over the impressive Paul Craig.
Smith lost for the first time in four fights when he was defeated via TKO against Magomed Ankalaev. However, his superior MMA skill and experience gives him the edge in this one.
The American boasts excellent grappling experience and has even submitted stars like Ryan Spann, Volkan Oezdemir and Alexander Gustafsson while knocking out the likes of Shogun Rua.
There is always a chance Walker gets another stunning knockout with his incredible knockout power. However, Smith’s fighting IQ is too much and it should be enough to get him the win.
Anthony Smith to win is -113 with Caesars Sportsbook.
Daniel Rodriguez vs. Ian Garry
Ian Garry is back in action for the second time in just over two months after a fantastic TKO win over Song Kenan. The Irishman is still unbeaten as a result, and he is looking to make it five wins from five UFC appearances.
Daniel Rodriguez is a threat, however, having lost just twice in his UFC career. He did get submitted by Neil Magny in his last fight but he has beaten well-known names like Mike Perry, Kevin Lee and Li Jingliang in the past two years.
On the other hand, we think Garry is too skilled. His standup ability is one of the best in the welterweight division and at just 25 years of age, this could be his breakout fight. What's more, unbeknownst to much of the public because of his excellent striking, Garry is a black belt in judo and is more than capable of getting something out of a grappling exchange.
As this is a three-round fight and because of Rodriguez's experience, we think the 25-year-old gets the job done on points.
Ian Garry to win on points is +130 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
Carlos Ulberg vs. Ihor Potieria
Two knockout artists meet further down the card in what is a fight that could steal the Fight of the Night bonus. In fact, in 30 fights between the two, only seven of those have gone the distance.
It goes without saying that this likely means a finish from one or the other, but we are edging toward the destructive power of Carlos Ulberg.
At 6-feet-4 and weighing closer to heavyweight outside of camp, Ulberg is huge for the 205 pounds division and comes from the famous City Kickboxing gym. What's more, since losing his UFC debut, he has gone on to beat Nicolae Negumereanu and Tafon Nchukwi through excellent knockouts, while also beating Fabio Cherant with relative ease.
Ihor Potieria is fantastic in his own way, but he has also lost via TKO to Negumereanu. At the same time, we feel he has padded up his CV by winning in organizations where the competition is relatively weak, and his 19-3 record is not as impressive as it looks when you delve into it.
Carlos Ulberg by KO/TKO with FanDuel Sportsbook.
Alex Morono vs. Tim Means
While we predict most of the fights on this main card to end before the judges are involved, we don't think the same for this bout between Tim Means and Alex Morono.
In the past 10 fights involving these two, only three of those have finished before the final bell. Despite having 19 of his 32 wins via knockout, Means has not registered a KO/TKO win in his past eight fights since knocking out Ricky Rainey.
At the same time, Morono has seen the bulk of his wins come via decision, with nine of his victories coming in this manner, just as he has lost five of his eight fights on points, too.
Fight to go the distance is -120 with BetMGM Sportsbook.
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