Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai are both aware that one more loss will greatly jeopardize their potential shot at the heavyweight title. So, the battle of ranked contenders in Saturday’s main event of UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai is essentially an elimination bout to remain in contention. The important matchup tops the bill from the Apex facility in Las Vegas, with the main card set for 7 p.m. ET. The No. 6-ranked Rozenstruik and No. 9-ranked Sakai were each ascending the rankings before a loss in their last performance halted their momentum. The winner Saturday will be back in the conversation for a title shot in a division now brimming with contenders.
Rozenstruik is listed as a -130 favorite (risk $130 to win $100), while Sakai is priced at +110 in the latest UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai odds from William Hill Sportsbook. The co-main event also involves heavyweights as veteran contender Marcin Tybura (-165) takes on Walt Harris (+145). Before locking in any UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai picks, make sure you see the latest MMA predictions from SportsLine insider Ian Parker.
A former fighter who’s been in the industry for 15 years, Parker has managed some of the world’s best, including former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman, Costas Philippou and Gian Villante. Parker trained alongside UFC Hall of Famer Matt Serra. Now, Parker breaks down fights and makes betting picks for the Voice of the UFC, Jon Anik.
Parker is coming off a mind-boggling 2020 season. On the Anik & Florian Podcast, Parker went an astounding 58-14, returning $9,465 to $100 bettors who followed him. He hit 11 of his 17 underdog picks and 19 of 30 main events. Overall, Parker nailed an astonishing 81 percent of his plays.
Parker has already proven his mettle to SportsLine members. Over the past three UFC Fight Nights, Parker has gone 19-6 to give his followers a profit of nearly $1,400. Two weeks ago, the MMA analyst encouraged SportsLine members to back Rob Font (-115) against former champion Cody Garbrandt (-105) in the bantamweight main event. Font dominated the action to win a lopsided unanimous decision and give Parker’s followers another easy winner. Anyone who has followed Parker has seen massive returns.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai approaching, Parker has studied the MMA odds and matchups from every angle and released his top picks. You can only see them here.
UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai preview
Parker knows the main event will play a part in the trajectory of a heavyweight division that is suddenly packed with viable contenders. The winner will remain the conversation for a title shot in the near future, while the loser likely will face a long road back to contention.
Rozenstruik (11-2) emerged as a contender with stoppage victories in each of his first four UFC fights after making his debut with the promotion in February 2019. The kickboxing specialist memorably knocked out former title contender Alistair Overeem with four seconds left of their five-round main event in December 2019. He was trailing on all scorecards at the time.
But the 33-year-old Surinamese fighter faltered when presented with a step-up in competition. He was finished in 20 seconds by current champion Francis Ngannou in their May 2020 fight. He picked up a win over former champion Junior dos Santos before dropping a lopsided decision to rising contender Cyril Game in their February matchup.
Sakai (15-2-1) made a strong impression by showing a varied skill set while winning his first four UFC fights. But two of those came by split decision and, when faced with a higher-caliber opponent, he was stopped by Overeem in September of last year. The 30-year-old Brazilian has 11 stoppages among his 15 professional MMA victories. You can only see Parker’s coveted Rozenstruik vs. Sakai picks here.
Top UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai predictions
We’ll share one of Parker’s UFC Fight Night picks here: He is siding with Miguel Baeza (-120) to earn a victory over Santiago Ponzinibbio (+105) in a matchup of welterweight prospects on the main card.
Ponzinibbio (27-4) is a rugged Argentinian slugger who has already battled some of the division’s biggest names. He has victories over veteran contenders such as Neil Magny and Gunnar Nelson to his credit. But the Ju-Jitsu specialist is looking to rebound from a first-round stoppage loss in his January fight against Li Jingliang.
Baeza (10-0) earned his ticket to a UFC roster spot with a victory on “Dana White’s Contender Series” in June 2019. He has quickly emerged as a rising prospect on the strength of three consecutive stoppage victories to start his stint in the UFC. The 28-year-old Florida native scored a second-round submission over fellow prospect Takashi Soto in November.
“Both men are excellent strikers. However, I believe Baeza carries more power along with an underrated Jiu-Jitsu game that will be the difference,” Parker told SportsLine.
How to make UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai picks
Parker also has strong picks for Rozenstruik vs. Sakai and other top fights on the UFC Fight Night card. He is also backing one fighter who “has the advantage in striking, grappling and cardio.” Those UFC picks are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Rozenstruik vs. Sakai? And which fighter is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed UFC Fight Night picks, all from the ultimate insider who’s up nearly $9,500 on MMA picks in the past year, and find out.
UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai odds, fight card
Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-130) vs. Augusto Sakai (+110)
Walt Harris vs Marcin Tybura (-165) vs. Walt Harris (+145)
Roman Dolizde (-140) vs. Laureano Staropoli (+120)
Miguel Baeza (-120) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (+105)
Dusko Todorovic (-160) vs. Gregory Rodrigues (+140)
Montana De La Rosa (-270) vs. Ariane Lipski (+230)
Manon Fiorot (-165) vs. Maryna Moroz (+145)
Sean Woodson (-185) vs. Youssef Zalal (+165)
Mason Jones (-300) vs. Alan Patrick (+250)
Jordan Leavitt (-190) vs Claudio Puelles (+170