Today is another day of UFC action, this time with a UFC fight night card that will air on ABC. Given it will be on network television, the UFC chose an odd bit of matchmaking for the headliner of UFC on ABC 4. It would appear the brass has plenty of confidence Jairzinho Rozenstruik will either score a highlight KO or Jailton Almeida will have his way with the heavy hitter. They better hope it proves to be the case as Rozenstruik fights have proven to be a difficult watch for those that don’t end with a quick KO.
UFC Fight Night main event: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Jailton Almeida | Heavyweight
Almeida has been absolutely dominant since touching down in the UFC, all four of his wins coming in the opening round. A fantastic athlete, he’s proven adept at wrestling and slick in the grappling department. Given the dearth of heavyweight ground fighters, that alone should be enough to deliver him a spot in the top ten of the division for a long time. It will all be dependent on whether Almeida can avoid the power of Rozenstruik at today’s UFC fight night.
Even as Rozenstruik has been making progress to add more volume, not to mention laying more traps as opposed to just waiting for openings, he’s still very one-dimensional. Unless Almeida is looking to make a point that he can hang with Rozenstruik on the feet, it would be a shock to see both combatants remain vertical for long. Rozenstruik is an underrated defensive grappler, but offers nothing offensively. That should allow Almeida to operate without fear, which will provide an early finish at UFC on ABC 4.
Prediction: Almeida via submission of RD1
UFC Fight Night co-main: Anthony Smith vs. Johnny Walker | Light Heavyweight
There’s a reason many were talking about Walker as being the one to dethrone Jon Jones at one point. The Brazilian is a special physical talent capable of delivering a highlight reel finish in an instant. There’s also a reason that talk disappeared as he’s proven to be the ultimate glass cannon. To Walker’s credit, he’s attempted to add some discipline to his attack once he realized he isn’t going to run over everyone. However, Smith is the type of savvy vet who will test just how much Walker has gained in the arena of fight IQ at UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Almeida.
The issue with Smith is he has an insane amount of mileage on his body. He beat off talks of his demise that arose in 2020 by rattling off three consecutive wins. Of course, ahead of UFC on ABC 4, he’s now older and coming off a broken leg. Smith could be at the end of the line and Walker has the explosiveness to put him to sleep immediately. Given Smith’s history of dealing out lessons to fighters of an inconsistent nature akin to Walker, I’ll wager he has enough left in the tank to outwit the cocksure Walker.
Prediction: Smith via submission of RD1
Daniel Rodriguez vs. Ian Machado Garry | Welterweight
The UFC has taken it slow with Garry, which is a good thing. The Irish prospect has demonstrated growth in that time, enough that he’s a rightful favorite over the gritty Rodriguez. However, there’s also reason to believe Rodriguez might be too much, too soon at this juncture for UFC on ABC 4. Case in point: Garry came thisclose to being finished by Song Kenan. However, he also recovered, showing enough composure to dominate the rest of the way before securing a late finish. Should Rodriguez hurt Garry in a similar manner, it’s hard to believe Rodriguez will let him off the hook.
The issue is if Rodriguez has already passed his prime. Rodriguez may not have the type of MMA mileage on his body of the typical 36-year-old, but he has a different sort of mileage. After all, he claims to have racked up plenty of fights within the jail system before straightening himself out. Rodriguez’s hard pace has overwhelmed more than one opponent, but he’s been missing the extra intangible that made him so dangerous prior to his long layoff due to injury. Unless he can rediscover his vigor at this UFC fight night, I anticipate the victory coming easier for Garry than the odds might suggest.
Prediction: Garry via decision
Carlos Ulberg vs. Ihor Poteria | Light Heavyweight
Receiving a late promotion to the main card, that indicates the UFC likes one of these two. The argument for Poteria is he was fed Shogun Rua in the aged legend’s retirement fight. Why would the UFC waste such a prominent name for a prospect with a limited ceiling? Then again, Ulberg has model good looks to attract the women and the KO power to make him a fan favorite amongst the men. I have a hard time believing Poteria’s grinding style is something the UFC is looking to promote to viewers.
Ulberg’s ground game is questionable at best, leaving open the idea of a Poteria upset to be a reasonable consideration. However, given Poteria couldn’t even take a shot Shogun down, I don’t anticipate he’ll find success against Ulberg at UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Almeida. Throw in Ulberg continues to improve with every contest and I’ll double down on that idea.
Prediction: Ulberg via TKO of RD2
Tim Means vs. Alex Morono | Welterweight
The end has to be nigh for Means. Now 39 with a history of drug abuse as a young adult, it’s hard to believe Means’ body will continue to hold up. Of course, that’s been said for several years now, ever since his reputed durability first began to crack. Means has adjusted, resisting the blood and guts brawls that established his reputation as an action fighter to become more of a slick point fighter. That strategy has worked great against those who are either undisciplined or mediocre athletes. That’s what makes Morono such curious case as Morono is a terrible athlete, but he’s exceptionally disciplined.
If this was a clash of both competitors in their primes on this UFC fight night card, Means would be the pick. Even as he’s well past his prime, I don’t feel comfortable picking against him in this contest as Morono will have a hard time outwitting Means the same way he has his recent opponents. Morono came up short against Santiago Ponzinibbio, someone whose body has betrayed him more than Means. Plus, I don’t see Morono having the power to potentially exploit Means’ declining durability. I’m short of confidence, but I’m picking the upset.
Prediction: Means via decision
Matt Brown vs. Court McGee | Welterweight
At 42, Brown’s durability and gas tank are dwindling, but he still has his power. At 38, McGee’s durability is dwindling, but his stamina remains. If McGee can make it out of the first round, he should be able to outwork the older Brown at UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Almeida. It comes down to where their head is. Brown has talked about retirement whereas no such talk has come from McGee. Not that McGee believes he’s going to win the title, but that type of talk is never portends well for a fighter as they enter a fight. Perhaps he even picks up his first finish in over a decade over a flagging Brown….
Prediction: McGee via submission of RD3
Karl Williams vs. Chase Sherman | Heavyweight
If Sherman is given the opportunity to stand and exchange fisticuffs, he has a shot at winning. Williams isn’t going to give him that shot. Sherman’s power isn’t prevalent enough to predict a one-hitter-quitter on Williams before completing several takedowns either. Williams will break Sherman’s spirit before getting the stoppage.
Prediction: Williams via TKO of RD3
Cody Stamann vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade | Bantamweight
De Andrade is the older man, but he’s not the one who has looked aged in his recent contests. Stamann hasn’t been able to make his wrestling a consistent part of his attack in recent years and he’s playing with fire if he attempts to win a straight up striking battle with the explosive de Andrade. Stamann might be able to outvolume de Andrade, but his short reach ensures he’ll be in the range of de Andrade if he hopes to do so.
Prediction: De Andrade via KO of RD2
Natan Levy vs. Pete Rodriguez | Lightweight
I don’t know if Rodriguez is UFC material. What I do know is he is way to early in his development to have a proper gauge on that. He’s got some power, but that’s the only thing I’m sure he has. Well, he had power at 170. It may not translate as he shifts down to 155. Levy has a lot of questions himself, but he’s a solid grappler who has proven he can hang in there as the going gets tough. I can see myself regretting the pick if Rodriguez’s power translates, but Levy could still win even if Rodriguez retains his power at UFC on ABC 4.
Prediction: Levy via submission of RD3
Ji Yeon Kim vs. Mandy Bohm | Women’s Flyweight
I’ve seen nothing out of Bohm that indicates she belongs in the UFC. She’s a subpar athlete and too stiff to be efficient with her offense. Kim isn’t a special athlete, nor is she a tactician. However, she is durable and willing to let her hands fly. That alone should be enough for her to beat Bohm at UFC on ABC 4, despite her poor UFC record.
Prediction: Kim via TKO of RD3
Bryan Battle vs. Gabe Green | Welterweight
While neither Battle nor Green will ever be contenders, they both have a lot of the intangibles that make for a successful fighter. Those include durability, heart, and stamina. Green is more experienced, which means he might have the extra trick or two up his sleeve to edge past Battle at UFC on ABC 4. However, Battle has proven himself to be wise beyond his experience and should still be improving. Plus, he’s got youth and reach on his side. Those are good tiebreakers to go by in a close contest.
Prediction: Battle via decision
Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Tainara Lisboa | Women’s Bantamweight
Don’t let the lack of fights on Lisboa’s record fool you; she’s got a lot of combat experience. It’s just come in Muay Thai. However, Clark can take a punch. It’s the slick submission artists Clark has struggled with. That isn’t Lisboa. Clark knows how to get the fight to the mat when that’s the strategy that favors her and that’s definitely the case here at UFC on ABC 4. It probably won’t be a lot of fun to watch, but Clark grinds out an ugly win.
Prediction: Clark via decision
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