UFC 288 is now complete, and it is time to move on to the fourth fight night on ABC! This week the UFC heads to Charlotte, North Carolina where Jairzinho Rozenstruik takes on Jailton Almeida in the main event. After a successful 9-3 record on my UFC 288 picks, I’m hoping for another successful week, so let’s get right into my picks.
Fight One: Jessica-Rose Clark (11-8) (-150) vs Tainara Lisboa (5-2) (+125)
My Bet: Tainara Lisboa by Submission or Decision
Fight Two: Gabe Green (11-4) (-125) vs Bryan Battle (8-2) (+100)
My Bet: Gabe Green by KO/TKO or Decision
Fight Three: Ji Yeon Kim (9-6-2) (-250) vs Mandy Bohm (7-2) (+200)
My Bet: Ji Yeon Kim by Decision
Fight Four: Carlos Ulberg (7-1) (-300) vs Ihor Potieria (19-3) (+240)
My Bet: Carlos Ulberg by KO/TKO
Fight Five: Cody Stamann (21-5-1) (-125) vs Douglas Silva de Andrade (28-5) (+105)
My Bet: Douglas Silva de Andrade ML (+105)
Fight Six: Karl Williams (8-1) (-420) vs Chase Sherman (16-11) (+310)
My Bet: Karl Williams by KO/TKO or Decision
Fight Seven: Matt Brown (23-19) (+150) vs Court McGee (21-11) (-180)
My Bet: Matt Brown by KO/TKO or Decision
Fight Eight: Tim Means (32-14-1) (+190) vs Alex Morono (22-8) (-240)
My Bet: Alex Morono by KO/TKO or Decision
Fight Nine: Daniel Rodriguez (17-3) (+200) vs Ian Machado Garry (11-0) (-240)
My Bet: Ian Machado Garry by KO/TKO or Decision
In the Welterweight Division, Daniel Rodriguez looks to give Ian Machado Garry his first loss and pull off the upset. After winning four in a row, Rodriguez suffered a tough loss to Neil Magny and is now looking to start a new winning streak on his way to the top of the division. Ian Garry is not going to let that happen without a fight, as he is undefeated for a reason. Since entering the UFC, Garry is 4-0 with two wins by TKO and is looking to add Rodriguez to his list of victories.
This was a tough one to pick, and I definitely don’t like the odds on it, but very slightly I will favor Garry. I will not be surprised if Rodriguez is too much for Garry to handle, coming off some easy matchmaking, but I am betting on Garry to edge a close decision. On the feet, both fighters should go back and forth, but I think if Garry inserts his judo into his strategy he can do enough to earn the victory.
Co-Main Event: Anthony Smith (36-17) (-105) vs Johnny Walker (20-7) (-115)
My Bet: Johnny Walker by KO/TKO or Decision
The co-main event of the evening is arguably more intriguing than the main event. The fifth ranked Anthony Smith puts that top five ranking on the line against seventh ranked Johnny Walker. The fifth ranked Smith was on a three fight win streak before suffering an injury and a loss at the hands of Magomed Ankalaev. His opponent, Johnny Walker, is on a two fight win streak, both of which were by finish, and now looks to prove he is a real contender by defeating Anthony Smith.
As the odds show, this is a tough fight to predict, but I am going to go with Johnny Walker. I expect this to be a firefight where both fighters will land shots on each other, but I believe more in the power of Walker to finish the fight along with his ability to keep the fight at a comfortable distance. Along with that, I’m worried about the health of Smith’s leg coming off the injury in his fight with Ankalaev. If Walker can avoid getting rocked by Smith and use leg kicks to set up some powerful combinations, I see him getting a win by finish or a decisive decision.
Main Event: Jairzinho Rozenstruik (13-4) (+400) vs Jailton Almeida (18-2) (-550)
My Bet: Jailton Almeida by KO/TKO or Submission
In the main event of the evening, Jairzinho Rozenstruik puts his top 10 heavyweight ranking on the line against the red-hot Jailton Almeida. “Bigi Boy” Jairzinho Rozenstruik comes into this main event after a huge bounce back round one TKO win over Chris Daukaus. Rozenstruik is a big underdog but is looking to prove that Almeida is not ready for a top 10 opponent. On the other side of the cage stands Almeida, who is looking to live up to his hype by defeating established UFC contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
This is a much different test for Almeida, and arguably his only real test to date. This could present issues for Almeida if he is not ready for what’s coming, but I am taking the heavy favorite Almeida to keep his win streak alive, despite not being a fan of his odds. There is one way I can see Rozenstruik winning this fight, and that is if he does exactly what he did to Chris Daukaus. Early in his career, Almeida was knocked out in 16 seconds, if Rozenstruik wants a shot at winning, it may be in his best interest to explode early and the first round and hunt a quick finish. Unfortunately for Rozenstruik, that is not how I think the fight will end, as long as Almeida can avoid an early onslaught, this fight shouldn’t be hard to win. Almeida is the far superior grappler and he will use that to his advantage in this fight. Almeida should counter Rozenstruik’s explosiveness with level changes and get the fight to the mat. Once he does that, he can soften up an already tired Rozenstruik with punches before finishing the fight by way of submission.
For more UFC content, check out the links below!
–Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo is Overrated
–Jailton Almeida Will Be the Next UFC Double Champion