Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Augusto Sakai Odds, Pick & UFC Fight Night Prediction (Saturday, June 5)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai.
- Two heavyweight square off in the main event of Saturday's UFC Fight Night when Jairzinho Rozenstruik takes on Augusto Sakai.
- Both men are coming off losses and present challenges for the other, with Rozenstruik featuring knockout power and Sakai a superior grappling game.
- Sean Zerillo breaks down the fight and where there's betting value, delivering his best bet for the matchup from the UFC Apex.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Augusto Sakai Odds
A pair of top-10 heavyweights will clash in the small cage at UFC Apex on Saturday night, as No. 6 contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik and No. 9 Augusto Sakai look to bounce back from main-event losses.
Rozenstruik dropped a boring decision to Ciryl Gane in February, while Sakai suffered his first knockout loss against Alistar Overeem in the fifth round of their bout last September.
Sakai opened as a soft -140 favorite (implied 58.3%) for his second try at a five-round fight, but the line quickly flipped in favor of “Bigi Boy,” who ranks amongst the most substantial power punchers in the UFC.
Can Rozenstruik land one of his kill shots on the Brazilian, or will Sakai mimic Gane’s game plan and chip away at a tentative — but deadly — counter puncher for 25 minutes?
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||9:22||12:20|
|Weight (pounds)||254 lbs.||255.5 lbs.|
|Date of birth||5/17/88||5/9/91|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.14||5.32|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||3.48||4.02|
|Take Down Avg||0.00||0.15|
Rozenstruik was at a reach disadvantage against Gane and ate crisp jabs for 25 straight minutes, losing the significant strike battle 102-42 with a 98-38 differential from a distance.
“Bigi Boy” won’t see the same reach discrepancy here and when Sakai does try to close the distance, Rozenstruik will have a much easier time finding his target.
The primary issue with Rozenstuik’s style is a clear lack of volume. In fact, it’s almost impossible to envision him winning a five-round decision unless he scores a couple of knockdowns and Sakai manages to survive, which seems highly unlikely.
Sakai has a clear edge in terms of volume (+2.18 strikes landed per minute) and efficiency (+1.3 to -0.34 strike differential), but that style plays directly into the hands of a powerful counter-punch like Rozenstruik, who only needs one opportunity to put opponents away.
Sakai has the faster hands and if he can do the majority of his work out of the clinch in this fight, he should largely avoid danger. If he gets reckless defensively at range or if he starts to fade (as he did against Overeem), though, in the championship rounds, Rozenstruik could steal another victory from the jaws of defeat.
Sakai should also have the grappling advantage in this matchup; the question is whether he can find a way to get the much stronger Rozenstruik (80% takedown defense) to the mat to deploy his BJJ blackbelt. It seems unlikely that much of this fight takes place in the grappling realm, but the clear advantage is still there for Sakai, in theory.
Perhaps we see a slightly more aggressive version of Rozenstruik after his incredibly disappointing performance against Gane. The Surinamese fighter was largely ridiculed for his unwillingness to engage.
This looks like Sakai’s fight to win until the very moment that he loses. He has the advantages in speed, volume, and grappling (if he’s able to use it), while Rozenstuik ticks the boxes for power and finishing upside.
However, the lack of a reach advantage (which Gane had) or significant power (like Ngannou) for Sakai could allow Rozenstruik to change his game plan and pressure; if he doesn’t respect Sakai’s power, “Bigi Boy” could feel freed up to barrel forward and search for the kill.
In such a scenario, he likely finishes Sakai quickly or gasses out fairly quickly himself after getting outside his comfort zone. And in that scenario, I wouldn’t want to have any part of the totals on this matchup.
Rozenstruik vs. Sakai Pick
In a vacuum, I projected this fight to end inside the distance 67% of the time (implied -204), and I don’t see any value concerning the distance prop (-250 Inside the Distance, +180 to go the Distance).
I considered betting some alternate totals like the Over 2.5 (-105) or Over 3.5 (+140). Still, as I mentioned, there’s a potential scenario (after a bad look in his last fight) where Rozenstruik comes out more aggressively and ends up forcing a relatively quick finish on either side. Furthermore, if Sakai secures a takedown early (while Rozenstruik is still dry), he could secure a submission in a hurry against the former kickboxer.
The Overs initially looked tempting here, but there’s some potential for variance in the pace of the fight — and a heavyweight bout in the small cage at APEX — where the general finish rate has been 10-15% higher than in a 30-foot octagon — is not a fun sweat.
My projection makes Sakai a 54% favorite. He’s likely to consistently win minutes in this fight until the moment he gets caught. Thus, there’s value on Sakai’s moneyline down to -106, at a 2.5% betting edge.
Furthermore, there’s value on Sakai’s decision prop (listed +350, implied 22.2%) compared to my projection at +237 (implied 29.7%), so I’ll take a stab at that too.
The Pick: Augusto Sakai (+105, 0.5 units) | Augusto Sakai wins by Decision (+350, 0.25u)