Curtis Blaydes vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik
September 25, 2021 10:35 pm EDT
The Line: Jairzinho Rozenstruik +265 / Curtis Blaydes -315
(Click here for latest betting odds)
Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik fight Saturday in UFC 266 at the T-Mobile Arena. Blaydes enters this fight with a 14-3 record and has won 71 percent of his fights by knockout. Rozenstruik enters this fight with a 12-2 record and has won 92 percent of his fights by knockout.
Blaydes has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a February win over Derrick Lewis. Blaydes is averaging 3.59 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 53 percent. Blaydes is averaging 6.64 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 54 percent. Blaydes is coming off a knockout loss at UFC Fight Night 185, a fight where he landed 28 total strikes and ate just seven total strikes. Blaydes now hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. Blaydes is a rare heavyweight in that he’s highly aggressive with his takedowns and has extreme success with his attempts, often coming in with a tackle form and throwing around some of the biggest guys in the sport. Once on the canvas, Blaydes has a nasty ground and pound, and it’s where he’s finished a lot of his fights. Blaydes can obviously hold his own standing up and has one-punch knockout potential, but he’s most effective on the ground and usually follows up his opponents strike attempt with a takedown rather than a counterstrike. With a background in wrestling and a blue belt in BJJ, Blaydes is one of the more balanced fighters in this division. However, all three of Blaydes losses have come by knockout. This will be Blaydes’ fourth career fight in Nevada.
Rozenstruik has split his last four fights and he’s coming off a June win over Augusto Sakai. Rozenstruik is averaging 3.15 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 49 percent. Rozenstruik is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Rozenstruik is coming off a knockout win at UFC Fight Night 189 that earned performance of the night honors. Rozenstruik is now 6-2 under the UFC banner and each of his last seven wins have come by knockout. Rozenstruik is an established fighter at 33 years old who comes from a boxing and kickboxing background, and he has obvious clear KO power in either hand. Rozenstruik is most comfortable standing up, as he was highly successful at kickboxing with a 76-8 record, and he throws these hooks that can knock his opponents head off. There’s no surprises with Rozenstruik, as he’s shown little in terms of clinch work or on the ground. It’s all stand and bang with Rozenstruik. This will be Rozenstruik’s fourth career fight in Nevada.
Blaydes deserves to be the favorite, as he’s the more polished, balanced fighter who has a clear edge on the ground and even has a two-inch reach advantage standing up. This line is probably about right. However, there’s just something about getting a knockout machine at these underdog prices that forces me to pull the trigger. You can break down film, talk about wrestling and crunch the numbers all you want, and everything goes out the window if Rozenstruik lands one clean shot.
Give me Rozenstruik at this price.