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UFC Charlotte Main Event Breakdown

142 days ago


Daytime MMA for the second straight afternoon? If you’re a real fan of competitive violence, this is the weekend for you. Saturday, the eyes of the MMA world are fixated on Charlotte, NC.

Charlotte is already in a celebratory mood as it is this week. On Tuesday night, the city’s MLS side, Charlotte FC, knocked off last year’s US Open Cup champions, Orlando City SC, in the round of 16.

Now, the city’s focus turns to MMA’s top promotion for a special matinee edition of UFC Fight Night. Live coverage of UFC Charlotte (a.k.a., UFC on ABC 4) begins with the prelims at 11:30 am ET/ 8:30 am PT on ESPN.

Main card action follows at 3 pm ET/ noon PT on your local ABC station. Depending upon the length of the show, the 6 o’clock news may not start on time Saturday evening.

Heavyweights Take Center Stage in UFC Charlotte Main Event

Spectrum Center, normally the home court for the NBA‘s Charlotte Hornets, will serve as the setting for UFC Charlotte and the UFC Charlotte main event. All told, barring any cancellations between now and Saturday, the show will feature 12 fights, capped by a heavyweight showcase.

No. 9 contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik (13-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC), an alum of RIZIN Fighting Federation, will meet No. 12 contender Jailton Almeida (18-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in a battle to rise in the top-15 at 265 lbs. As with all UFC headliners, the main event on Saturday afternoon is an advertised five rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.

UFC Charlotte Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into the UFC Charlotte main event on Saturday, Jailton Almeida stands as the taller gladiator at 6-foot-3, compared to the 6-foot-2 frame of Jairzinho Rozenstruik. In addition, Almeida owns a one-inch reach advantage (79 inches to 78 inches) and a 2 1/2-inch leg reach advantage (43 1/2 inches to 41 inches even) over Rozenstruik.

As of Wednesday evening, the oddsmakers have Jailton Almeida installed as a -500 favorite, with Jairzinho Rozenstruik countering as a +375 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.

Rozenstruik Looking to Build Off of Quick Knockout Win vs. Daukaus

Jairzinho Rozenstruik comes into the UFC Charlotte main event having posted a record of 2-3 in his last five fights. Most recently, he needed just 23 seconds to knock out Chris Daukaus (12-6 MMA, 4-3 UFC) during UFC 282 back in December.

Rozenstruik was interviewed ahead of Saturday’s fight, and he believes that his maturation as a fighter is about to go to the next level.

“I’m understanding the game more, especially the ground game– it’s a different language and you’ve got to adapt to it,” Rozenstruik said. “I feel more comfortable than before with my style. There are still some things where you think, ‘I want this better’, but you can’t be perfect. You want to execute on the night of your fight, and then you go back to the drawing board and make things better.”

Will he be able to improve on his first-round knockout? Watch the UFC Charlotte main event and find out.

Jailton Almeida Comes In on 13-Fight Winning Streak

In the other corner, Jailton Almeida has gone 5-0 in his last five appearances, but it’s only part of a larger winning streak. At the current time, he’s won 13 fights in succession.

Last time out, he scored a second-round knockout (ground and pound shots) of Shamil Abdurakhimov (20-8 MMA, 5-6 UFC) on Jan. 23 in UFC 283. Saturday’s UFC Charlotte main event is his first headlining appearance for the promotion.

Earlier Wednesday, CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri interviewed Almeida. He has bigger plans after the headliner in Charlotte, No. 6 contender Tai Tuivasa.

“I think looking at the rankings and how people are matched right now, I think Tai Tuivasa will make a lot of sense,” Almeida said, through his translator. “He’s high-ranked, around seventh. If I can get a win over him, it’ll be a good way to finish the year, you know, being closer to the top five. I think it’s an interesting matchup, and I believe it could make a very fun fight.”

Jailton Almeida needs to take his journey one fight at a time, one round at a time. It starts on Saturday.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the UFC Charlotte main event looks to favor Jailton Almeida, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, compared to Jairzinho Rozenstruik’s kickboxing background.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik Can End the Fight in a Hurry

If there’s one constant regarding MMA fights in the heavyweight division, it’s that you should never, ever look away from the monitor when the fight’s on. You might end up missing the entirety of the bout.

Rozenstruik’s December fight versus Daukaus is one of those fights that fit the bill. It was electric for as long as it lasted.

He unloaded with a right-handed punch followed by a knee to sit Daukaus down. Chris Daukaus had no opportunity for an answer.

The barrage of punches were simply too much for him to overcome, with Rozenstruik ending the show with a left-handed shot. If Jairzinho Rozenstruik is able to connect with copious punches, the fight is his.

Jailton Almeida Adept With Subs

In the other corner, once Jailton Almeida gets his opponent on the mat, which he did versus Anton Turkali in a catchweight fight at 220 lbs., it’s his world.

From the very moment that Almeida dumped Turkali, he hunted for the submission. Even though his attempt at an arm-triangle choke at the start of the fight proved unsuccessful, he remained undaunted.

Almeida took Turkali down three times in the first round, softening him up with ground and pound. As the round neared its end, he locked in a rear-naked choke, forcing Turkali to tap out.

All Jailton Almeida needs is just a single takedown. If he takes Rozenstruik down one time, the UFC Charlotte main event could be a wrap.

Final Thoughts

Take a late lunch on Saturday and watch the UFC Charlotte main event. Heavyweight fights always have the potential to be explosive affairs.

By the way, if you’re one of those people who has to work on Saturday, see if you can get out early for this fight. If not, you can catch the replay after the fact.

Prediction: Jairzinho Rozenstruik by Unanimous Decision.

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