UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane Predictions
Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane
Gane is a hulk of a heavyweight, but his fight game is actually quite refined, being light on his feet for his size, while making the most of his 84″ reach (5″ more than his opponent here) from a muay thai stance, and he’s also shown off a surprisingly effective ground game too, picking up a couple of submission wins in the UFC already.
Rozenstruik isn’t as well rounded so he’ll have to be wary of being taken down here and will also be the slower fighter, but he’s a very accomplished kickboxer with a vast amount of experience in that sport who wields big power and won’t be overawed by Gane’s muay thai technique.
Gane is likely to be the busier fighter, but Rozenstruik is a veteran and will happily bide his time and know that he has the ability to end a fight in an instant with one punch.
Still, Gane hits hard too and should be able to hold his own on the feet, though I think it’s his ground game that’s the biggest difference between the two and will offer the Frenchman an opportunity to submit, or potentially even just ground-and-pound his way to a stoppage win here.
Prediction: Ciryl Gane to win by submission in Rd2.
Nikita Krylov vs. Magomed Ankalaev
Krylov may only be 2-2 in his latest UFC stint, but he’s picked up notable wins over Ovince Saint Preux and Johnny Walker, and there’s no shame in losing to the current champion Jan Blachowicz and No.1 contender Glover Teixiera (who he took to a split decision).
Ankalaev hasn’t fought the same level of competition yet, but he does have the distinction of having only lost one of his 12 career fights to date and is currently riding a five-fight winning streak in the UFC, including having decisively defeated Ion Cutelaba twice-in-a-row via strikes during 2020.
Krylov is an offensively-minded and at times recklessly aggressive fighter who uses that to make up for his technical deficiencies and has a proven reputation for finishing fights regardless of where the action takes place. On the feet he works his kicking game well and has power in his hands, but his submission threat may well be his best weapon.
Meanwhile, Ankalaev already demonstrated twice against Cutelaba that he’s not likely to crumble against a fast-starting aggressor as he stays cool, calm and collected as he works from range with his technical kickboxing while being sharp on the counter and like his opponent having the ability to put opponents away either by punches or kicks.
Ankalaev is also a very good wrestler with nasty ground-and-pound, but his only loss did come by way of submission against Paul Craig, so that’s something he may need to be wary of here. Nonetheless, I do feel that the more dependable Ankalaev can do well here by picking apart the over-eager Krylov on the feet and mixing in takedowns and top control if neccessary to secure a decision victory.
Prediction: Magomed Ankalaev to win by decision.
Montana De La Rosa vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
Heading into this one De La Rosa has lost two of her last three fights and holds an overall 11-6 record, while Silva is 2-1 in her UFC run so far and is 7-1 for her career as a whole.
Neither fighter here is at their best on the feet, but of the two Silva seems to have the greater level of comfort with her kickboxing and may seek to get the better of the action here by applying pressure in the striking exchanges.
I’d expect De La Rosa to have more interest in using her wrestling to take this fight to the mat, but Silva won’t be easy to get down unless she choose to go there, and while they both have some submission prowess, I feel Silva is the higher level jiu-jitsu talent here and will cause problems whether it’s off her back or on top.
So, while it should be a closely fought fight and it’s possible De La Rosa could grind her way to a decision using her wrestling, I think Silva has the edge offensively here both standing and on the mat and I’ll take her to edge out a decision win.
Prediction: Mayra Bueno Silva to win by decision.
Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera
Both Munhoz and Rivera aren’t far of the bantamweight division’s elite, having each picked up multiple big name wins during their UFC runs, while occasionally just falling short against top contenders and former / future champions.
These two actually fought once before almost five years ago, with Rivera emerging the winner via split decision on that occasion, and there’s no reason to think that this will be anything other than another extremely close battle on Saturday night.
Rivera is a very good wrestler, but he’s also developed a solid boxing game to go with it and is crisp on the counter, while also being durable, but while he has respectable power he’s not a big finisher.
Munhoz is more of a pressure fighter and is heavier handed than Rivera, while also wielding a nasty guillotine choke that his opponent will have to be wary of if he tries to uses his wrestling. Like Rivera, Munhoz is also hard-headed and in fact has never been stopped in his 24-fight career.
All signs point to this one heading to a decision and I can’t see there being much to choose between them, but I do think Rivera’s counter-striking and 3.5” reach advantage is well suited to this match-up and it will help him squeek out another win on the scorecards.
Prediction: Jimmie Rivera to win by decision.
Angela Hill vs. Ashley Yoder
Three-and-a-half years after their first encounter, which Hill won by decision, these two will fight again in a short-notice addition to Saturday night’s main card.
It’s a bit of an odd match-up as it’s not a rematch anyone was clamouring to see. Credit where it’s due though, Yoder looked like she might be on her way out of the UFC after losing her first three bouts in the Octagon (including the Hill fight), but has since quietly put together a 4-2 run and is coming off a win last time out.
On the other hand, Hill is coming off two losses – but keep in mind that they were both by split decision to quality divisional veterans in Claudia Gadelha and Michelle Waterson, so in some ways it’s a real feather in her cap that she kept it so close and competitive.
Yoder has a 4″ height and 5″ reach advantage here, but I do still feel that Hill has the better striking here. She keeps a high pace, uses her speed to dart in and out throwing plenty of volume and has very good cardio. She’s already shown she can compete against talented strikers, so I don’t think Yoder has the weapons to get the better of her.
Yoder does have a solid ground game, but she’s yet to find a finish either on the mat, or the feet for that matter, during her eight-fight run in the Octagon so far.
I don’t see that changing on Saturday night as Hill has enough wrestling to stop Yoder from making her mark and will outstrike her on the feet to earn a decision victory.
Prediction: Angela Hill to win by decision.
Alex Caceres vs. Kevin Croom
Caceres is heading into this fight off the best form of his entire 10-year UFC run as he’s picked up three wins in a row, while Croom made an instant impact in his debut by submitting Roosevelt Roberts, but then had that turned to a no-contest due to testing positive for marijuana.
He might be known as ‘The Hard-Hitting Hillbilly’, but though he does have some power it’s Croom’s submission skills that has more often been his route to victory. That could make for an interesting battle on the mat as Caceres is a crafty grappler too.
That being said, while both have multiple submission victories, it should also be noted that they are no strangers to being tapped themselves, although it’s also worth pointing out that while Caceres has been stopped that way more times, his level of competition has consistently been on a much higher level.
On the feet Caceres has eye-catching, karate-style striking, though at times there’s more style than substance to his work as he lacks power and can get into a pattern of bouncing around on the outside too much rather than stepping in and really committing to his strikes.
Croom has a bit more pop in his punches and he’ll look to press the action, but he’s not a great striker by any means and I think he might find Caceres speed and movement at range tricky to deal with.
Despite both currently enjoying a good run of form it has to be said that in general these two are quite inconsistent, so it’s hard to pick with complete confidence here, but Caceres higher level experience and speed both on the feet and scrambling on the mat will be plus points here as he secures a second round submission finish.
Prediction: Alex Caceres to win by submission in Rd2.
UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gane Prelims
(Predicted winners in bold)
Alex Hernandez vs. Thiago Moises
Ramazan Kuramagomedov vs. Alex Oliveira
Alexis Davis vs. Sabina Mazo
Vince Cachero vs. Ronnie Lawrence
Dustin Jacoby vs. Maxim Grishin
Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process.
You can read more of Ross’s work at MMAInsight.com.