UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gaziev Predictions

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UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gaziev takes place this weekend at the at the UFC Apex facility, in Enterprise, Nevada, USA – and we’ve got our UFC predictions for all the fights below, and you can join the action at the best betting sites Australia has to offer!

UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gaziev Predictions


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Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Shamil Gaziev prediction

Jairzinho Rozenstruik is coming off a submission loss to Jailton Almeida that leaves him with just one win from his last four fights.  Now he headlines against Contender Series recruit Shamil Gaziev, who won in his UFC debut to extend his career record to 12-0.

The 35-year-old Rozenstruik had an extensive kickboxing career prior to focusing full-time on MMA back in 2017 and when he’s on form his stand-up game is a force to be reckoned with thanks to his knockout power and explosive speed that’s resulted in 12 of his 13 wins coming inside the distance via strikes.  However, during his UFC run Rozenstruik has become surprisingly gun-shy at times and can fall into long periods of inactivity while waiting for potential counter-striking opportunities.  Meanwhile he isn’t the most sound defensively and doesn’t really have anything to offer beyond his striking.

The 34-year-old Gaziev is certainly the more well-rounded of the two, having the potential to wrestle and grapple that Rozenstruik lacks.  He’s also a very capable striker too, with good power in his hands, though he lacks his opponent’s quick turn of pace when he attacks and will have to be more mindful of his defensive responsibilities than he has in the past given Rozenstruik’s counterstriking ability.

I think Gaziev will realize his best bet here is to exploit Rozenstruik’s poor ground game here, which will enable him to rough him up with ground-and-pound and then set up a submission finish by the second round.

Prediction: Shamil Gaziev to win by submission in Rd2.

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Vitor Petrino vs. Tyson Pedro prediction

Vitor Petrino holds a 10-0 career record after winning his first three UFC fights in a row and now takes on Tyson Pedro, who has won three of his last four fights and is coming in off a KO victory.

The 26-year-old Petrino has looked good so far in the Octagon. He’s a physically strong, athletic fighter who might not be all that technically refined on the feet, but makes up for it with his aggression and fight-ending power. Meanwhile, his offensive wrestling is improving and his only submission win so far came during his 2nd fight for the promotion.

Pedro got off to a nice start in the UFC, but by 2018 he was finding the going tougher as the opposition-level increased.  That led to a few losses and he was then sidelined for three years with repeated injuries. He’s gone 3-1 since making a comeback, but it has to be said the standard of opposition he’s been beating has been weak by UFC standards. Pedro is a reasonably athletic, rangey striker who looks to make the most of his 79″ reach (only 2″ more than Petrino) on the outside with solid punches down the pipe backed up by kicks to the legs and body. He’s a fairly capable wrestler, and will actively pursue both submissions and ground-and-pound on the mat.

Petrino is the younger, fresher fighter here and still improving, whereas it’s possible Pedro may have already hit his ceiling. I think Petrino will take the fight to Pedro here and be rewarded with a 2nd round TKO finish.

Prediction: Vitor Petrino to win by TKO in Rd2.

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Muhammad Mokaev vs. Alex Perez prediction

The undefeated Muhammad Mokaev has gone 5-0 in the UFC so far to take the No.8 spot on the flyweight rankings and now fights Alex Perez, who is one spot above him at No.7 but is coming off back-to-back losses against two top dogs in Deiveson Figueiredo and Alexandre Pantoja.

Mokaev is only 23-years-old but has more experience than you might think as in addition to being unbeaten in 12 pro-MMA fights he also has an extensive amateur background that saw him go 23-0. That goes some way to explain why this strong, athletic youngster is already a well-rounded fighter who is a threat wherever the fight goes. On the feet he’s not proven to be a big finisher, partly because of his focus in grappling, but nonetheless he’s certainly capable of landing impactful blows and is technically sound. Meanwhile he has very good wrestling and will eagerly drive in for takedown attempts and pounce on submission attempts on the mat, which has worked out well for him, accounting for four of his five stoppage victories in the UFC so far.  He’s also proven to hold his finishing threat late into his fights, with several wins coming in the third round.

The 31-year-old Perez had an active 2020 campaign, but has only fought once in the three years since then and is returning on Saturday night after well over a year-and-a-half off. His last two losses were against the former and current champion of the division, but while there’s no shame in losing to Figueiredo and Pantoja it has to be pointed out that both finished him in less than two minutes each via submission. Still, he’s a versatile fighter who will look to apply pressure on the feet with a varied selection of strikes, while he’s also a very capable offensive wrestler and maintains his aggression by offering a threat via ground-and-pound and submissions.

Perez’s inactivity in recent years is a real concern here, and given that he’s susceptible to submissions and Mokaev happens to be a major threat on the mat that spells trouble here. As suc I expect Mokaev to get Perez down at some stage in the opening round and hand him his third submission loss in a row.

Prediction: Muhammad Mokaev to win by submission in Rd1.

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Umar Nurmagomedov vs. Bekzat Almakhan prediction

Four wins since joining the UFC leaves Umar Nurmagomedov with a perfect 16-0 record heading into a fight against the debuting Bekzat Almakhan, who brings a 14-1 record to the Octagon.

The 28-year-old Nurmagomedov had been chalked up for a far more meaningful fight last August against Cory Sandhagen, but a shoulder injury forced him out of the fight. With that in mind it’s puzzling that he’s gone from a leading contender to an unknown newcomer, but that’s not to say the 26-year-old Almakhan is some kind of pushover. Instead, he’s actually someone who seems well worth being given a chance in the UFC. He’s a battling striker with fast punches and kicks and has being a notable finisher on the regional circuit, earning 12 of his 14 career wins via strikes. He also has reasonably solid defense and can mix in some wrestling along with his striking.

Given that Almakhan shows promise it seems harsh to be throwing him straight in with Nurmagomedov, who might only be ranked No.13 at bantamweight right now, but seems to have the ability to go much higher than that, with the fact that he’s the brother of Bellator champ Usman Nurmagomedov and cousin of UFC lightweight legend Khabib only further enhancing his reputation. As you might expect then he’s a strong wrestler and excellent grappler. However, Nurmagomedov is also a talented striker who doesn’t have the biggest power, but is very fast and light on his feet and uses that to strike effectively from range while being hard to hit in return, with his versatile kicks being a frequent weapon of choice.

It’s an unfortunate situation for Almakhan that he’s having to go up against one of the best in the division and I see Nurmagomedov getting the better of the action on the feet here if he wants, but ultimately utilizing his superior ground game to secure a second round submission victory.

Prediction: Umar Nurmagomedov to win by submission in Rd2.

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Matt Schnell vs. Steve Erceg prediction

Matt Schnell was knocked out in his last fight back in December of 2022 and now finally returns to face Steve Erceg, who has earned back-to-back wins since joining the UFC to extend his career record to 11-1.

The 34-year-old Schnell has always been an entertaining flyweight to watch. He is at his best on the mat with good grappling that’s earned him numerous submission finishes over the years, while on the feet he is quite quick and will piece together combinations nicely. He likes to aggressively bring the fight to his opponents, but that’s cost him dearly at times due to his suspect chin, leading to four KO losses in the UFC over the years, including in his last fight.

The 28-year-old Erceg has settled into the UFC nicely so far. He’s not all that athletic for a flyweight, but he’s well sized for the division and has got a nice mix of skills, with his grappling being a strong suit, while he’s also proven to be quite composed fighting from range on the feet too.

Schnell is starting to get up there in years now, and with the knockout losses starting to add up and coming off a long layoff it’s tough to feel confident about him here. So while he certainly has a chance here I’ll take the younger, less shop-worn Erceg to give a good account of himself here wherever the fight goes and potentially trouble Schnell’s shaky chin at some stage on the way to a decision victory.

Prediction: Steve Erceg to win by decision.

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UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Gaziev Prelims

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About Ross Cole

Ross Cole is one of the most prolific mixed martial arts writers in the world, having written more than 17,000 MMA news stories for MMA Insight, which he founded in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts, and reaching millions of die-hard MMA fans in the process. You can read more of Ross's work at MMAInsight.com.