UFC in Vegas 28 Pick’ Em Part 1: Fight Card Preview, Predictions & Best Bets

Augusto Sakai of Brazil is hit with a punch. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

Augusto Sakai of Brazil is hit with a punch. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

 

With MMA promotions taking a break from action this week, we will delve into next week’s UFC in Vegas 28 event with an extended preview through two parts. Continue reading for our Part 1 of UFC betting picks for the Vegas event headlined by Rozenstruik and Sakai.

 

Augusto Sakai vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Saturday, June 05, 2021 – 11:05 PM EDT at the UFC Apex

The big boy heavyweight division will lead the UFC in Vegas main event, and what an intriguing matchup we have in front of us. Heavy-handed Brazilian Augusto Sakai will attempt to regain his composure after losing his impressive 4-fight streak against Alistair Overeem last time out. His opponent Jairzinho Rozenstruik suffered a similar fate when giving up his 4-fight win streak to Francis Ngannou, although he’s fought twice since then, going 1-1.

Suriname native Rozenstruik has landed some tremendous successive bouts since joining the UFC; originally a professional muay thai fighter, he has been competing in mixed martial arts since 2017, where his striking skills would easily translate. Rozenstruik will continue to pose a severe threat in the UFC heavyweight division, combining fight end power with a technical striking output.

Augusto Sakai has been a professional martial artist since 2011, so his experience in this field is considerably more extensive than that of his opponent. Former Bellator competitor, his background does not just stem from a UFC octagon. Much like his opponent, Sakai has the striking skills to become a true contender of the division and fight-ending punches to match one day.

Call me crazy, but I predict these two heavyweights will give us more than a round-one flash knockout. I anticipate (similar to last weeks main event) a certain level of respect for each fighter’s punching power. Thus leading towards a competitive fight beyond the first round. The over 1 and a ½ rounds betting market tempts me, and if we do witness a knockout or technical stoppage, I believe we will see this occur beyond this mark of 7 and a half minutes.

UFC Best Bet: Over 1 and a ½ rounds at -149 with William Hill

 

Claudio Puelles vs. Jordan Leavitt

American born Jordan Leavitt has continuously impressed me with his elite-level skills under such a small window of time being a professional fighter. A mere four years as a professional, the Dana White Contender Series alumni has delivered an unblemished 8-0 record with five of those contests ending via submission or stoppage.

Leavitt owns a certain charisma that we rarely stumble across in MMA, but the sport often provides us with a future contender or a top ranked competitor at the very least when we do. He began martial arts on the wrestling mats in school and quickly transitioned into jiu-jitsu after years of rolling with high-level black belts.

Next weekend Leavitt will be faced with another lightweight prospect in Claudio Puelles, who has also proven some slick work on the ground. Peruvian native Puelles owns 5 career stoppages by way of submission and could be the real test for Leavitt we have been waiting to witness.

With that said, I hold high faith in Leavitt’s fight IQ, along with his aura when stepping into a high-intensity MMA battle. Puelles has never been finished by submission, but I predict the wrestling background of Leavitt can give enough to win this contest. I also favor Leavitt’s striking offense to deliver the higher output of the two. Should this fight remain standing, he will often utilize a flashy striking style to hide his takedown attempts that won’t be far away.

UFC Best Bet: Jordan Leavitt to win at -188 with FanDuel

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