UFC on ABC 4: Rozenstruik vs. Almeida Predictions, Analysis, and Free Picks
YTD Premium Record: 103-70 (60%)
Following some tweaks to my model ahead of last week’s event, we got back on track in a big way with premium subscribers going 9-3 (+6.45 units). Free subscribers who received select fights also cashed in, going 4-1 (+4 units) on the night, cashing a big ticket with Frevola (+188).
We quickly move on now to an under-the-radar good free card on ABC Saturday afternoon. This is also another spot where we get a free (day) of fights away from the Apex, with the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC playing host. Headlined by a pair of heavyweights in Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Jailton Almeida, there are a handful of spots I’m dialed into.
Let’s dive in.
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Location: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC
Prelims: 11:30 AM EST - ESPN/ESPN+
Main Card: 3:00 PM EST - ABC/ESPN+
Bryan Battle vs. Gabe Green
I was surprised when this one opened up with Green the slight underdog, and I’d still play it as high as -150 as I think he’s got a big edge in this matchup. Since joining the UFC in May of 2020, Green is 2-2 with the promotion, with his two losses actually squaring off later in the card (Daniel Rodriguez and Ian Garry) who as of today have a combined record of 20-1-0.
When we saw him fight Garry in July, he was a massive underdog who actually pushed the up-and-coming UFC star all three rounds and actually had him in danger early.
As for Battle, who is also four fights into his UFC stint (3-1), he comes into this following a loss to Rinat Fakhretdinov in December. In contrast, his three wins come against guys with a combined record of 25-6, none near the pedigree of Garry or D-Rod.
What really drew me to Green, however, was the metric edges. Having sizeable ones both on the feet and on the ground. With 6.20 significant strikes landed per minute, I like for Green to establish a rhythm early and dominate this fight as it goes on.
Pick: Gabe Green (-135 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 1.35 units
Carlos Ulberg vs. Ihor Potieria
For anyone still unsure of Ulberg’s legitimacy as a potential contender in the light heavyweight division, that question was answered in November at UFC 281. Finishing the 13-1 Nicolae Negumereanu in the very first round, the win was his third win in the first round in his five UFC fights, with the only loss of his career coming vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu in November of 2021.
As for Potieria his first loss since 2017 came via the hands of Negumeranu in July, a loss he’s since avenged with a first-round win of his own vs. Mauricio Rua in January. Though a win is a win, I’m not putting much stock in beating a 41-year-old guy who has now lost three straight.
The metrics seal the deal for me here, with Ulberg having the edge in every single category and significant ones in significant strikes landed per minute (2x), takedown defense (3x), and knockdown average. With Ulberg in line for a top-15 opponent with another statement win here, I like for him to get just that.
Pick: Carlos Ulberg - Inside the Distance (-200 at BetUS) to risk 2 units
Daniel Rodriguez vs. Ian Garry
The UFC brass will be paying close attention to this one, as Ian “The Future” Garry appears to be just that for the promotion; the future. His boisterous Irish accent gives shades of Conor McGregor, and his spotless 11-0-0 (4-0 in the UFC) has fast-tracked him to a top 15 guy here in D-Rod.
I have been, and still am, a big fan of Garry and I think if done correctly, has a real shot of ascending this division in rather short order. Stepping up with each of his last opponents, this fight is a bigger step than all the rest, and tbh, he didn’t inspire a ton of confidence his last time out despite getting the third-round finish.
As for Rodriguez, his November loss to Neil Magny was his first since 2020, the first inside-the-distance loss of his career (D’arce choke). Facing Garry, he won’t have to worry about the grappling, and in fact, would be wise to take it there if he can Garry down.
With a proven chin, I like for him to absorb shots from Garry early and move forward, with his best path to victory turning this into a ground and point. Either way, with 60% of these last two’s wins coming via decision, I like the same result here as both of these guys can not afford a quick loss.
Pick: Rodriguez/Garry - Fight goes to Decision - Yes (-122 at BetUS) to risk 1.22 units
Anthony Smith vs. Johnny Walker
A pair of top 10 heavyweights will go at it in the co-main, with the winner likely getting division newcomer Alex Pereira who is said to be making the jump from middleweight.
If this fight was even two years ago, I think Lionheart takes this one on Fight IQ alone. Time, however, is undefeated, and Smith comes into Saturday following a loss against Magomed Ankalaev in July where was clearly outmatched.
As for Walker, four losses in five fights had many thinking his time in the UFC was drawing to a close. Walker, however, had other ideas, as he’s now finished both Ion Cutelaba and Paul Craig in the first round in his last two fights.
Looking at these two on paper, which has even more weight given their 26 combined UFC fights, Walker is the better fight everywhere.
Starting on the feet, Walker has edges in knockdowns (60%), fewer strikes absorbed per minute (-68%), submission average per 15 minutes (68%), and takedown accuracy (3x).
With more paths to victory and much less wear and tear, I like for Walker to get this one done.
Pick: Johnny Walker (-105 at BetUS) to risk 1.05 units
BMP (Beer Money Parlay) of the Week sponsored by CBD MD
Gabe Green (-135 at FanDuel Sportsbook) to risk 1.35 units
Carlos Ulberg - Inside the Distance (-200 at BetUS) to risk 2 units
Rodriguez/Garry - Fight goes to Decision - Yes (-122 at BetUS) to risk 1.22 units
Johnny Walker (-105 at BetUS) to risk 1.05 units
All Fights - Picks w/ Confidence Levels & Modeled Odds
YTD Premium Record: 103-70 (60%)
*All bets are one unit
All Fights - Dashboards (not found above)
*All odds as of the day of posting.
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