Updated: Jan 14
After a week off, the UFC returns to action at the Apex Center in Vegas. For this post, we will focus on the main card and provide early previews and picks. Circumstances, including weigh-ins and other health concerns during this pandemic, can greatly impact not only each fight on Saturday, but where they end up on the card. We will keep all of you up to date with relevant information through our social media accounts and then in our Game Picks on Saturday. Picks mentioned in this post are NOT our final picks:
Jairzinho Rozenstruik (-130) vs Augusto Sakai (+105)
Both of these fighters are coming off a loss and a second consecutive loss could knock either guy out of the top ten in the heavyweight division. Rozenstruik is a powerful striker with good cardio, but does not throw enough volume or with enough creativity to truly threaten the more skilled fighters in the division. On the other side of the cage, Sakai is also a striker, but he has shown to use more volume and to rely less on is power. Sakai looks to be the slightly more athletic fighter. For that, we will lean towards the underdog here. Either way, we expect this fight to be the kind of standing brawl that excites the fans.
Walt Harris (+140) vs Marcin Tybura (-177)
Harris is certainly fun to watch, but the 38-year old (he turns 38 next week) is coming off consecutive knockout losses and could be fighting here for his future with the promotion. Tybura has built some momentum lately with four straight wins, but his chin is suspect and he allows himself to get hit too often. Tybura’s lack of effort on defense will give Harris a fighting chance, especially with his blitzing style, but Harris will gas out. The longer this fight goes, the more we will like Tybura. We will take the favorite in this heavyweight co-main event.
Roman Dolidze (-150) vs Laureano Staropoli (+120)
In the co-co, we get a fight between two very creative middleweights who throw spinning strikes and enjoy entertaining the crowd. However, both fighters also throw strikes at a relatively low volume. Dolidze is coming off of his only career loss, which was a decision that you can argue he deserved to win. In that fight against Trevin Giles, Dolidze nearly matched the former in significant strikes with 75 and also finished a takedown. His opponent this week, Staropoli, is coming off of consecutive losses, both unanimous decisions against unimpressive opponents which we would never score in his favor. We like Dolidze to bounce back this weekend and prove to be the better fighter.
Santiago Ponzinibbio (+100) vs Miguel Baeza (-125)
Ponzibbio seemed headed towards a welterweight title shot before a series of injuries and infections forced him away from competition for over two years. Before being sidelined, Ponzibbio won seven consecutive fights including impressive wins over Mike Perry and a knockout over Neil Magny. In his return fight earlier this year, Ponzibbio looked a bit off, keeping his hands low and eventually paying the price for it. His opponent this week, Baeza, is not the kind of fighter to punish him for this technical error. Baeza does not throw many combos and mostly relies on his one shot power. It has worked for Baeza so far and has lead him to a perfect 10-0-0 record, but we have to side with the more experienced fighter here and take a bet that he looks more like his old self with more consistent training under his belt.
Dusko Todorovic (-150) vs Gregory Rodrigues (+120)
We normally do not like to open with our pick, but we will flat our say we like Todorovic in this fight. There is one major issue though: neither fighter has shown to have any kind of chin. Todorovic has excellent cardio and output, but he leaves himself open to take damage. Likewise, Rodrigues has shown to have plenty of power to go along with his impressive physique, but a low level knockout loss on Dana White’s Contender Series stands out on his record. For all of these reasons, our favorite play in this fight will be under 1.5 rounds at +100.
Tom Breese (-250) vs Antonio Arroyo (+195)
Nothing against Breese at all. Mental health issues are no joke and should always be taken seriously. We say this because Breese is very public about his personal struggles which includes severe anxiety, so severe that it once kept him from entering the cage before a fight. While Breese looks like the more technical of these two fighters, and Arroyo’s best path to victory would be if Breese beat himself, we cannot confidently pick a fighter like this at this steep price tag. This first fight on the main card is a hard pass for now, but a live bet for Breese could be an option.
*Please do not mistake our opinions expressed here as our picks for the card. We will post all picks for this event and all UFC events in the Game Picks section of the website.
**Odds accurate at time of posting
***Also, let us know if you like this UFC preview! Would you want to see a full card breakdown in the future?