The UFC Apex Centre in Las Vegas, Nevada hosts a main card this weekend, full of big boys that is sure to provide fireworks and plenty of finishes. Headlining the card are two dangerous strikers in Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai. Powerhouses Walt Harris, Marcin Tybura, Roman Dolidze and Miguel Baeza are also on the main card and prospects such as Jordan Leavitt peak our interest in the prelims. We take a look at the main event and two on the undercard that caught my eye in this week’s preview.
Both fighters come into this fight on the back of losses and will look to bounce back here to reinstate them as Heavyweight contenders. Rozenstruik has now had seven fights in the organisation, winning five of those, including a knockout win over Junior dos Santos and a last gasp KO of Alistair Overeem. Sakai suffered the first loss of his career to Overeem in his last fight where he faded down the stretch and ended up being finished in the fifth. Rozenstruik has a better striking arsenal than Sakai but needs to be on the front foot to make use of it, something that he is likely unable to do. Sakai can take a shot and likes to walk down his opponents which looks the perfect style on paper against Rozenstruik. The Brazilian had his takedown defense exposed against Overeem, being taken down on all three attempts by the Reem. Luckily for Sakai ‘Bigi Boy’ hasn’t even attempted a takedown in his UFC career so Sakai should be able to march him down, control the centre and take the win in a dirty boxing fight.
42-year old Francisco Trinaldo keeps defying father time, putting together a three-fight win streak in the past year and a half. His opponent Muslim Salikhov lost his UFC debut but has since gone on to win his last four fights and he looks a tough opponent for the ageing Trinaldo. Trinaldo moves up to Welterweight for this fight which stylistically looks troublesome. He will lack the strength advantage that he has had of late and Salikhov is too elusive for Trinaldo’s telegraphed left hooks to trouble the Russian. Salikhov on the back of a diverse kicking arsenal catches the veteran with something devastating in the opening rounds to earn another knockout victory.
Jordan Leavitt is an exciting prospect who comes into this fight on the back of a crazy fight ending slam KO of Matt Wiman. I have this as an absolute one-sided demolition job for Leavitt. He has the clear advantage to wrestle Puelles into the ground and the jiu jitsu chops to stay safe and dominate while he is there. Puelles comes into this fight off an almost two-year layoff and beat arguably the worst Lightweight in UFC history in Marcos Rosa Mariano in his last fight. In his fight before that he was being beaten to a pulp by Felipe Silva before a hail mary kneebar secured him the win. Leavitt is levels above those two fighters and I will be utterly gobsmacked if Monkey Man doesn’t secure a one-sided victory here.
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