- Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai are set to headline the upcoming UFC Fight Night.
- The matchup between the two heavy hitters is intriguing, and both are looking to move upward in the rankings at the other’s expense.
- Jairzinho is a -125 favorite on the online sportsbooks.
LAS VEGAS - Jairzinho Rozenstruik is set to take on Augusto Sakai in a heavyweight matchup that could see both of them looking to move up the heavyweight rankings in a stagnant division.
With Francis Ngannou capturing heavyweight gold, the top of the division seems set for the near future - Ngannou will fight Derrick Lewis, and the winner with fight Stipe Miocic when he’s ready to return.
After that, however, the division seems wide open, and Rozenstruik and Sakai - ranked sixth and ninth respectively - will be looking to move up and position themselves for matchups against fighters like Curtis Blaydes, Ciryl Gane, and Alexander Volkov.
Basically, each of these fighters is several good wins away from a potential heavyweight title shot - and the road to such heights goes through this fight.
The online sportsbooks seem to think that Jairzinho is the favorite in this matchup, but it’s pretty close - he’s only favored at -125 odds.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Augusto Sakai Odds
- Jairzinho Rozenstruik -125
- Augusto Saka +105
Meet The Fighters: Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Rozenstruik has had a winding road to end up at this point. He has, at times, been among the top fighters in the division. His loss to Ciryl Gane pushed Gane further up the rankings, and his loss to Francis Ngannou was a key part of Ngannou earning a second title shot against Stipe Miocic.
In other words, he’s a credible fighter, but he might be something of a gatekeeper soon if he doesn’t put some wins together.
Most of his best UFC wins are against fighters that aren’t with the company anymore, such as Junior Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem. With losses to Gane and Ngannou in his last four fights, he’ll need to prove he can hang with the top of the modern UFC Heavyweight division.
Sports bettors will know Rozenstruik as a KO king, and he’s racked up 91% of his wins via KO, making it a solid prop to wager on.
- Jairzinho Rozenstruik Wins By KO, TKO Or DQ +140
Meet The Fighters: Augusto Sakai
Augusto Sakai seems to be on a similar path to Rozenstruik’s, albeit perhaps earlier on that path, with fewer matchups against the top of the division. Most of his UFC fights have been against lower ranked fighters, with his biggest win coming over Blagoy Ivanov before a loss to Alistair Overeem.
Sakai hasn’t fought since that September defeat, which was only the second of his MMA career - and his first defeat in the UFC.
Losses to Overeem are tough to measure - he’s a legend of the sport, but he was clearly declining by the time he fought both Sakai and Rozenstruik. A win against Rozenstruik could be a way to salvage some of his momentum in the UFC, and make a push for the top ranks.
Sakai is also a knockout artist, albeit not on the level of Rozenstruik. Where Rozenstruik has acquired 91% of his wins via KO, Sakai has acquired 73% of his wins via KO.
Still, 73% is nothing to shake one’s head at.
- Augusto Sakai Wins By KO, TKO Or DQ +260