UFC On ESPN+ 8 – Columbus Look Ahead
02 March 2020
Last updated: 22 March 2020 at 8:20 am
The UFC comes to Ohio and brings a main event between two heavyweight bangers. The massively heavy handed Francis Ngannou takes on fellow knockout artist Jairzinho Rozenstruick. Ngannou currently sits as a -275 favorite in this race to touch the other’s chin.
Ngannou has a trend and it is quite simple. He finishes his opponent quickly or he gets ground down in a decision. His nine UFC wins have all been stoppages in the first two rounds, and that includes the last seven being in the first round and eight of which via knockout. He is the heaviest hitter in the game, and Rozenstruick does not bring a grappling skill set to counteract the threat of Ngannou on the feet. Rozenstruick is a kickboxer that has shot up the rankings, but looked to be on his way to his first loss in his last fight with Alistair Overeem. Rozenstruick would have lost on the scorecards but secured a KO 24 minutes and 56 seconds into a 25 minute fight. This next step up in competition will prove to be too much for Rozenstruick and I expect this betting line to widen before fight time. If you are playing a future on this, Ngannou is the side to take.
This ESPN network fight card also includes a co main event matchup between two banatamweights with murky futures in Cody Garbrandt and Raphael Assuncao. Both fighters are on losing streaks and desperately need a win to secure their future as even top 10 bantamweights. Both fighters are a long way off of any championship shots at this juncture. Garbrandt sits as a -145 favorite and is the better current fighter, but his chin has been nothing short of glass since 2017.
We also have a very well made fight in the women’s bantamweight division between Aspen Ladd and Julianna Pena. Ladd is a -150 favorite, and I think she gets the job done, but this is a high end matchup.
Also in action is Greg Hardy, who would make sense for a future matchup with the loser of the main event.
TJ Calkins – UFC Expert
TJ Calkins was raised in a gambling loving household. He knew how to handicap horse races and follow line movements well before his tenth birthday. TJ writes weekly UFC picks and predictions at USsportsbonus.com