UFC on ABC 4 – Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Jailton Almeida – Main Card Betting Predictions

After the spectacle last week, UFC on ABC 4 feels like an anti-climax. Nevertheless, there are some interesting fights and I will have a couple of bets on the event.

Here are my main card UFC Fight Night predictions.

Tim Means vs. Alex Morono

Tim Means is the definition of a natural fighter. The New Mexico native has good eyes in the pocket and enjoys slipping and returning punches while the shots whistle by his ears.

“The Dirty Bird” is also effective with elbows, knees and kicks. Front kick to the midsection should serve him well in this open stance fight.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see him shoot for takedowns or stall things out against the fence if the striking isn’t going his way.

Means is getting long in the tooth at 39-years-of-age and his durability is waning, but he held a good account of himself in his most recent fight against Max Griffin.

Alex Morono is never going to be a contender at welterweight, but will hold his own against most unranked athletes.

In his earlier career, Morono’s striking was reckless and wild – but he has improved his fundamentals while training at Fortis MMA. He now fires a clean jab and uses lateral footwork to frustrate opponents before blasting them with looping hooks and overhands.

Morono’s takedown defense is subpar, yet opponents typically strike with him rather than wrestle. I suspect a loss via positional control is on the cards sooner rather than later for Morono.

This is not a fight I have a strong read on, but I’ll side with the more complete mixed martial artist in Tim Means.

Ihor Potieria vs. Carlos Ulberg

Respectfully, Ihor Potieria looks like a European-level fighter and I don’t like his chances of hanging around in the UFC.

The Ukranian has powerful, unorthodox attacks – but lacks fundamentals. He will fight with his hands by his hips and bait you into swinging on him so he can crack you back harder.

His style is also unsustainable over fifteen minutes, as we saw against Nicolae Negumereanu.

Stylistically, Carlos Ulberg is totally wrong for him.

The City Kickboxing product is good at using his range, controlling distance, and walking opponents onto destructive shots. His lead hook and right cross are both nasty and I think he can rip body kicks against the southpaw Potieria.

I like Carlos Ulberg to win by violent knockout.

Daniel Rodriguez vs. Ian Garry

When this fight was first announced, I was pretty sure I’d be taking an underdog shot on Daniel Rodriguez. After reviewing the footage, I’ve changed my mind

“D-Rod” has good boxing for MMA, but is a little one-dimensional. He has a stiff jab, which he follows up nicely with the left hand and he mixes in the occasional kick for good measure.

He is good at pressuring opponents and landing concussive shots, but I believe he will be on the wrong side of the speed and volume equation in this fight.

Ian Garry manages distance well, has good intercepting shots, and has a more comprehensive arsenal of strikes. We saw his tools on display against Gabe Green, who poses some of the same stylistic threats as Rodriguez.

I like Garry’s intercepting knee and I think he would do well to attack the body – just like Li Jingliang did against Rodriguez.

Furthermore, Garry is improving from fight to fight and appears to have a grappling advantage. I’m not confident he will shoot takedowns, but he trains with a lot of good grapplers and I wouldn’t rule it out either.

I’m picking Ian Garry to continue his ascent in the welterweight division.

Anthony Smith vs. Johnny Walker

Johnny Walker is a fighter I’ve been critical of in the past. I felt his unorthodox style had a clear ceiling in the UFC and that turned out to be the case.

To his credit, Walker has gone back to the drawing board after accruing numerous losses and the most recent incarnation of him is much more interesting.

I liked his movement and shot selection against Paul Craig and if he can keep refining his technique to complement his athletic gifts – then he will be a problem to deal with.

It sounds like he’s been doing a lot of boxing training, which is exactly what he needed. In this fight, maintaining distance, avoiding brawling, and utilizing his significant reach advantage will be paramount.

Walker has also mentioned going after low kicks as soon as possible, which would be a great idea.

Anthony Smith has been injured by low kicks in numerous fights and is currently returning after having his leg smashed by Magomed Ankalaev.

I never want to count out a gritty and tenacious individual like Smith, but he has sustained a lot of damage throughout his career. Smith has performed well against mid-tier light heavyweights, but he tends to lose emphatically when facing legitimate contenders – which Walker could turn out to be.

“Lionheart” attacks with eight limbs, lands heavy counters and has an underrated ground game – but his skill set has always been raw. I’m not expecting any big improvements from him at this point in his career

I like Johnny Walker 2.0 to cement himself as a light heavyweight contender.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Jailton Almeida

This is one of the weirdest main events I’ve seen.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik is a low volume kickboxer with a devastating left hook. He is quick to dig underhooks and has decent balance, but can be grounded with a well-timed shot in open space or with chain-wresting against the fence.

When lying flat on his back, the Surinamese fighter has little to offer.

Stylistically, this is a bad matchup for him.

Jailton Almeida is small for a heavyweight, but possesses paranormal strength and has been able to take down anyone in his path (albeit he hasn’t faced difficult opposition).

The Brazilian has a fast double leg and he immediately wraps his arms around opponents before slamming them to the mat. He is also extremely sticky and will hit mat returns after adversaries scramble to their feet.

Almeida has one of the best top games I’ve seen at the higher weight classes, with suffocating pressure and slick transitions. He mixes his ground strikes with his grappling effectively and is always hunting for the finish.

The thing is, we haven’t seen him get extended in the UFC and he is fighting above his natural weight class. If the fight has room to breathe and Rozenstruik starts stuffing takedown attempts – things could get interesting.

That said, Almeida probably finds the finish in the first couple of rounds.

I understand why Jairzinho Rozenstruik is the underdog, but I don’t blame anyone for taking a speculative shot on him at wide odds.