UFC’s mess of a Heavyweight division might get the injection of new blood it desperately needs this Saturday (May 13, 2023) when rising prospect, Jailton Almeida, steps up in class to battle Jairzinho Rozenstruik on ABC. The Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C., will also host a potentially ludicrous Light Heavyweight bout pitting Anthony Smith against Johnny Walker and Ian Machado-Garry’s stiffest test to date against veteran Daniel Rodriguez.
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What Went Wrong at UFC 288?
Virna Jandiroba and Parker Porter
Wrestling won the day.
I genuinely think he lost that fight. His striking looked uglier than ever, and even when he did find the mark on Rolando Bedoya amidst the hailstorm of counter rights that met him every time, he failed to make any sort of dent. Definitely not what you expect to see out of a -305 favorite, but a win’s a win, even if Daniel Santos’ withdrawal cut the payout to a pittance.
He almost had Nzechukwu, and then midnight struck and Clark was a pumpkin again. Can’t say I expected Nzechukwu to boss him around in the clinch that one-sidedly, but I probably should have.
Whatever malign being stripped away my ability to correctly pick fights, nothing pleases it more than watching the guy I’d touted as the more durable fighter get sparked out. Incredible shot from Matt Frevola.
Thinking back on it, maybe I put too much stock in her dissection of Lauren Murphy. She could have at least tried a takedown; probably would have worked out better for her than five left hooks in a row.
UFC Charlotte Odds For The Under Card:
Court McGee (-205) vs. Matt Brown (+175)
There aren’t many fighters in the Welterweight division that McGee’s blend of subpar wrestling and endless cardio can overcome at this point, but Brown sure as hell looks like one of them. Now 42 years old, “The Immortal” has been hugely reliant on takedowns of late and prone to losing steam down the stretch. McGee can occasionally forget to wrestle, as he did against Dhiego Lima, but the way he wore down Claudio Silva and Ramiz Brahimaj suggests that he still knows where his bread is buttered.
Karl Williams (-410) vs. Chase Sherman (+330)
Yeah, can’t see a reason not to slap Williams in a parlay. Even if Williams wasn’t as good as if not better than Sherman on the feet, “The Vanilla Gorilla” gets outwrestled by pretty much everyone who tries, including such sterling wrestlers as Parker Porter and Jake Collier.
Cody Stamann (-155) vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade (+135)
Speaking as someone who loves watching Silva de Andrade club people into oblivion, these odds seem very generous towards him. Stamann’s recent-ish three-fight skid makes it easy to forget how reliable a fighter he is; he’s well-rounded, tough, and a capable wrestler, all traits that regularly give “D’Silva” issues. He may not have the Brazilian’s horsepower, but he’s got the tools to weather Silva de Andrade’s best shots and steadily break him down like Rob Font, Lerone Murphy, and others did before.
Carlos Ulberg (-390) vs. Ihor Potieria (+320)
Another set of bloated odds that I can’t really argue against. This isn’t even an Ulberg>Negumereanu>Potieria MMA math thing; “Duelist” is markedly less dangerous than Negumereanu by virtue of having no real grappling game and questionable cardio. He’s there to slug with Ulberg, whose counters demolished both Negumereanu and Tafon Nchukwi. “Black Jag” will dominate.
Natan Levy (-265) vs. Pete Rodriguez (+225)
Same argument I made the last time these two were supposed to fight: Levy is the strongest wrestler Rodriguez has ever faced and we’ve never seen Rodriguez pushed past the first round. Plus, Levy just stood up to the ludicrously aggressive Genaro Valdez, so it’s hard to see Rodriguez either bombing Levy out in the early going or somehow wearing him down with sheer volume.
Ji Yeon Kim (-195) vs. Mandy Bohm (+165)
Skip it. Kim’s on a string of narrow decision losses and I’d rather not deal with that.
Gabriel Green (-140) vs. Bryan Battle (+120)
It’s not entirely clear to me why Battle is the underdog here. Sure, he lost badly to Rinat Fakhretdinov, but that was on short notice against a much scarier fighter than Green. Green just lost to a rangy outfighter in Ian Machado Garry last time out, while Battle is three inches taller, has a four-inch reach advantage, and knows how to use both those things. All signs point to Battle repeating his successful efforts against other sluggers like Andre Petroski and Tresean Gore.
Jessica-Rose Clark (-120) vs. Tainara Lisboa (EVEN)
Between Clark’s insistence on bumbling into the worst possible positions and Lisboa’s largely unproven mixed martial arts (MMA) game, this one’s best left alone.
UFC Charlotte Odds For The Main Card:
Jailton Almeida (-490) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+390)
While Almeida’s front kick -> takedown game should work its magic once again, Rozenstruik is levels beyond the likes of Anton Turkalj and Shamil Abdurakhimov. Just a bit too dramatic a step up to justify betting on one-to-five odds.
Anthony Smith (-110) vs. Johnny Walker (-110)
We don’t touch Johnny Walker fights in this column anymore.
Ian Machado Garry (-285) vs. Daniel Rodriguez (+240)
The odds feel too skewed in Garry’s favor, but I’m not sure I’m prepared to commit to a “D-Rod” bet. Rodriguez has looked mighty shaky since a yearlong layoff, controversially squeaking his way past Li Jingliang and falling to Neil Magny. Though still flawed, as we saw when Song Kenan Garry seems like he can potshot his way to victory.
Alex Morono (-225) vs. Tim Means (+190)
Morono is someone I have a lot of difficulty predicting, so in honor of the headaches he’s given me before, I’m leaving it alone.
UFC Charlotte Best Bets:
- Single bet — Bryan Battle: Bet $50 to make $60
- Single bet — Cody Stamann: Bet $60 to make $38.70
- Parlay — Carlos Ulberg and Natan Levy: Bet $60 to make $43.79
- Parlay — Court McGee and Karl Williams: Bet $40 to make 33.89
As far as recent “UFC Fight Night”-themed events go, this certainly is one of them. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2023: $600
April Bailout: $400
Current Total: $504.42
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Charlotte fight card right here, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ABC/ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET.
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