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After a long weekend of remembering those fallen soldiers who have fought to protect our country, fight week is upon us. We have a highly underrated fight card this weekend, which boasts 14 fights and a 6-fight main card. The main card is headlined by two heavy hitters in the Heavyweight division, #6 Jairzinho Rozenstruik and #9 Augusto Sakai, where both fighters are looking to get back in the win column. This event is stacked from the very first preliminary fight all the way to the main event. On this fight card, there are some close matchups, which means this has the potential to be a very profitable night. Let’s dig deep into the odds.
Tom Breese (-255) vs Antonio Arroyo (+205)
First fight on the main card is the first of three Middleweight fights, this one between Tom Breese and Antonio Arroyo. Both fighters are drastically in need of a win as neither fighter has had much luck as of late.
Tom Breese is one of those fighters who has the skills and the potential to be great, but he just hasn’t lived up to it. We have seen glimpses of his potential in his fights against KB Bhullar and Daniel Kelly. If he is able to tap into the Tom Breese we all know he can be, he shouldn’t have a hard time in this matchup.
Antonio Arroyo hasn’t had much success since getting the call to the big show. He is 0-2 in the UFC and is on the brink of release if he doesn’t get the job done this weekend. Arroyo will need to utilize his kicking game to keep Breese at distance if he wants any chance to get his first UFC win.
It’s really hard to see an avenue of victory for Arroyo other than a slim chance of catching Breese with something. Breese should have no trouble striking with Arroyo and will get back on track with a win here.
The pick: Tom Breese (-255)
Dusko Todorovic (-170) vs Gregory Rodrigues (+140)
In this fight, we have a fight in the Middleweight division between Dusko Todorovic and promotional newcomer and LFA Middleweight champion Gregory Rodrigues, who is making his debut on one-week notice. Todorovic is looking to get back into the win column while Rodrigues is trying to go 1-0 in the UFC.
Gregory Rodrigues comes into his short notice debut with a ton of momentum after capturing the LFA Middleweight Championship just two weeks ago. Rodrigues has shown that he is very well rounded, but his next level power is what makes him a dangerous opponent. If Rodrigues is the aggressor early on and puts the pressure on Todorovic, he has a chance at pulling out the upset.
Dusko Todorovic is coming off of the first loss of his professional career. Todorovic is going to have to sure-up his striking defense if he wants to win this fight. He is a very crafty distance striker who can give Rodrigues some problems. If Todorovic can avoid the big power shots, he can play the matador and cruise to a decision victory.
Rodrigues has shown major improvements since his stint on Dana White’s Contender Series. He has a knack for finding the chin of his opponents and just putting them out. Rodrigues has a real good chance of finding Todorovic’s chin, seeing as he loves to fight with his hands low. The smaller cage inside the Apex will also hinder the movement of Todorovic, who will need to stay out of harm’s way. Expect Rodrigues to put the pace and pressure on Todorovic and eventually land a straight right that will put him down.
The pick: Gregory Rodrigues (+140)
Miguel Baeza (-128) vs Santiago Ponzinibbio (+104)
Smack dab in the middle of the main card, we have a very exciting Welterweight matchup between the surging Miguel Baeza and the always dangerous Santiago Ponzinibbio. This is one of the most exciting fights on the entire fight card, and one you will surely not want to miss!
Miguel Baeza puts his undefeated record on the line against former top ranked Welterweight contender Santiago Ponzinibbio. Baeza is one of the tallest Welterweights on the roster, standing at 6’2″, and uses his length and reach to his advantage. He will need to utilize his jab and calf kicks to keep Ponzinibbio from closing the distance. Once Ponzinibbio gets within range, Baeza will need to make him pay with a powerful straight right. That is his key to victory in the biggest fight of his young professional career.
Santiago Ponzinibbio is coming off of a loss for the first time since 2015. In his last fight, he showed that ring rust is a real thing, as he was brutally knocked out in the first round after a 26 month layoff. This could be a case of age and wear and tear taking their toll on Ponzinibbio. He has got another firefight on his hands, which could either make or break him.
The betting line indicates this fight will be closely contested, and that notion is correct. Either one of these fighters can end the night with just one punch, which makes wagering on this fight a bit dicey. With that said, the youth, speed, and power of Baeza should overcome the experience of Ponzinibbio and make it number 11 in row.
The pick: Miguel Baeza (-128)
Roman Dolidze (-150) vs Laureano Staropoli (+125)
In the Middleweight division, we have a clash between Roman Dolidze and Laureano Staropoli. Both fighters are coming into this fight needing a big win, which should make for an exciting fight.
Roman Dolidze is coming off of his first professional loss, in this case, against Trevin Giles. He took that fight on short notice and down a weight class, which took a major toll on his cardio. Dolidze looked good early on, landing powerful strikes and mixing in the takedowns, but as the fight went on, his cardio took a dive. Now having a full fight camp in his new weight class, we should have a much better conditioned Dolidze.
Laureano Staropoli is stepping in on about a week’s notice after Alessio De Chirico had to withdraw from the bout with Dolidze. Staropoli is desperately in need of a win here, coming off of back to back losses, and this one will not be a walk in the park. Staropoli will have a ton of physical disadvantages in this fight, so he needs to fight smart and stay on the outside, using his variety of unorthodox spinning attacks. This will cause problems for Dolidze, as he just barrels forward with ill-regard for his opponents’ strikes at times. Staropoli will need to be firing on all cylinders if he wants to have a chance to get back into the win column.
It is a tall task for Staropoli to fight up a weight class on short notice against a fighter who used to fight two weight classes heavier than him. Dolidze has the size, strength and grappling advantages in this fight. If he is well conditioned, unlike in his fight against Giles, he should be able take Staropoli to the mat as he pleases and could get his first submission victory in the UFC.
The pick: Roman Dolidze (-150)
Marcin Tybura (-176) vs Walt Harris (+146)
In the co-main event, we have a Heavyweight clash between #8 Walt Harris and #11 Marcin Tybura. A win from either fighter here will help them surge up the rankings.
Marcin Tybura has looked the best we have seen in his UFC tenure as of late, winning four straight in dominating fashion. Tybura has been using smothering top pressure, which has been the difference maker in his recent surge. He will again need to use that to his advantage against the one punch knockout artist Walt Harris.
Walt Harris hasn’t looked like his usual self as of late, losing two in a row and getting finished in both losses. However, Harris always has the chance of winning the fight at any given time.
Harris has shown he has exceptional power over the years, but he also tends to slow down as the fight progresses. Tybura has been known to weather the early storm and drown his opponents in his fights, and you can expect more of the same here.
The pick: Marcin Tybura (-176)
Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-118) vs Augusto Sakai (-104)
In our main event, we have a showdown between two of the Heavyweight divisions best #6 Jairzinho Rozenstruik and #9 Augusto Sakai. Both fighters are looking to get back into the win column, which should bring out the best in both fighters.
Augusto Sakai is coming off of his first defeat in his time inside the octagon. Going 5 rounds without a lot of experience did him a disservice. Sakai is a high output striker, while most heavyweights can’t keep up with his pace. He will have to pace himself a bit better if he wants to get the win here against Rozenstruik.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik is coming off of a very lackluster performance in his last main event, which was against Cyril Gane. Rozenstruik has game-changing power, but he is at a massive output disadvantage here in this fight. If he doesn’t pick up the pace, he is going to be fighting from behind this whole fight.
Both fighters have something to prove in this fight, and you can expect a better showing from each fighter in this one. Sakai has shown that he can take his punch throughout his time in the UFC. Rozenstruik is really going to need to end this fight early, or Sakai will be putting on a striking clinic for the majority of this fight.
The pick: Augusto Sakai (-104)
Ilir Latifi is coming into this fight against Tanner Boser desperate for a win, which should give him that extra motivation to perform at his best. He has a sizable strength and grappling advantages in this fight, so he should need only one takedown to put Boser on the mat for a lengthy period of time. Boser poses a threat on the feet with his exceptional quickness and movement for a heavyweight. Latifi is going to have to use the small cage to his advantage and cut off the angles to level change. Once this fight is clinched up, it is almost a certainty that it hits the mat, as we have seen Boser struggle in fights outside of the UFC against strong grapplers. As long as Latifi doesn’t get caught playing this fight at distance, he should be able to drag this fight to the mat as he pleases and get back into the win column.
Kamuela Kirk is coming into this fight on about a week’s notice against the very tough Makwan “Mr. Finland” Amirkhani. Kirk is coming off of the best performance of his professional career, against fellow Dana White’s Contender Series alumni Daniel Swain, who quit on the stool in between rounds. He has exceptional BJJ that should be able to nullify the choke attempts from Amirkhani early on. We have seen Amirkhani fade as the fight goes on, and if that narrative stays true, Kirk should be able to land at will on the feet with the potential of putting him away late.
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