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Top Picks for UFC Fight Night: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane

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Top Picks for UFC Fight Night: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane
Alonzo Menifield (left) fights against Vinicius Moreira. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

This upcoming Saturday — February 27th — we have another eventful night filled with nail biting fights at the UFC APEX. This weekend we have a packed preliminary card consisting of 7 bouts, followed by the main card with a juicy heavyweight main event in Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane. Read along with me to see what picks I’m liking for this weekend’s fight night — also, check out my UFC Picks Video on SBR’s YouTube page @SBRSportsPicks if you’re curious about what other fight’s I’m loving.

William Knight vs. Alonzo Menifield

UFC Light Heavyweight Bout – Preliminary Card

Saturday, February 27, 2021 – 11:05 PM EST at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas

William Knight

William “Knightmare” Knight is an American mixed martial artist fighting out of Connecticut and currently fights with Thornton Martial Arts. He made his UFC debut at UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa against Aleksa Camur where he won via unanimous decision. He has been fighting professionally since 2018, starting in Reality Fighting. He then made his way to fight in the Premier Fighting Championship, CES MMA, and Dana White’s Contender Series where he has been very successful.

Alonzo Menifield

Alonzo “Atomic” Menifield is also an American mixed martial artist fighting out of Dallas, Texas. He has been fighting professionally since 2015, and has previously fought in Bellator, the Legacy Fighting Alliance, and Dana White’s Contender Series before making his appearance in the UFC. His UFC debut was in January 2019 against Vinicius Moreira at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw where he won via TKO in round 1.

Prediction

This was a tough fight to break down because both fighters match up so well. They both hold very similar professional records and also have very similar fighting styles and power. I am immensely drawn between the two mixed martial artists, so this breakdown should help me determine my top UFC pick.

Alonzo Menifield (9-2-0) has fought against much tougher competition in the UFC. Of his last 5 fights, he is 3-2 with his losses having been against Devin Clark by unanimous decision and Ovince Saint Preux via KO. Of his last 3 wins, he defeated Dashawn Boatwrit via TKO, Vinicius Moreira via TKO, and Paul Craig via KO. Out of his 9 wins, he has 8 wins by T/KO and 1 by submission. He holds 6 first round finishes consisting of 5 T/KO’s and 1 submission.

William Knight (9-1-0) made his UFC debut in September 2020 and has not fought against any “top-name” opponents. Just like Menifield, he holds 8 wins by T/KO but his 9th win is by decision. He has 5 first round finishes with his last one being at Dana White’s Contender Series against Cody Brundage via TKO. His 1 loss is by T/KO against Tafon Nchukwi in 2019 at the Cage Fury Fighting Championships 80.

At this point in the breakdown, I am leaning team Menifield simply because of his level of competition and his skill. However, this is where things get more interesting and I start to change my mind. I took a look at their stats and Knight has better numbers than Menifield. Alonzo Menifield has a negative ratio as he lands on average 3.34 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 3.72.

Knight, on the other hand, averaged 4.69 significant strikes per minute while absorbing 2.88. To me, this proves Knight holds a better defense than Menifield. However, are his stats only that good due to his level of competition? Although Knight has the more superior striking stats, I have to side with Menifield in this one.

UFC Pick: Alonzo Menifield -110 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Alonzo Menifield -110
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Pedro Munhoz vs. Jimmie Rivera

UFC Bantamweight Bout - Main Card

Saturday, February 27, 2021 - 09:00 PM EST at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas

Pedro Munhoz

Pedro “the Young Punisher” Munhoz is a Brazilian mixed martial artist that is currently ranked #8 in the UFC bantamweight division. He is the former Bantamweight Champion of the Resurrection Fighting Alliance. Munhoz started training karate at the age of 6, and then made his way to Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the age of 13. He made his UFC debut in 2014 -- at UFC 170 Rousey vs. McMann -- against Raphael Assuncao and lost via unanimous decision. In the UFC, he has won “Performance of the Night” three times and “Fight of the Night” twice.

Jimmie Rivera

Jimmie “El Terror” Rivera is an American mixed martial artist and is currently ranked #9 in the UFC bantamweight division. He started his mma career at the age of 18 years old -- in 2007 -- then made his way into fighting the Bellator Fighting Championships, King of the Cage, the Ultimate Fighter, Ring of Combat, World Series of Fighting, and the UFC. Interestingly, he is a one-time ROC Bantamweight Champion, one-time KOTC Flyweight Champion, and one-time CFFC Bantamweight Champion.

Prediction

This is an exciting fight, not only because this is the second time these two mixed martial artists are meeting on the canvas, but because this bout was originally scheduled for UFC 258. It was rescheduled due to COVID-related issues, but hey, the sequel has finally come!

The first time these two fought was in 2015 at UFC Fight Night 77: Belfort vs. Henderson 3. Jimmie Rivera (23-4-0) won via split decision. But let’s talk about Pedro Munhoz (18-5-0, 1NC) first. He is 3-2 in his last 5 bouts, with his last 2 fights and losses coming from Aljamain Sterling in 2019 and Frankie Edgar in 2020. His most recent win was in 2019 -- at UFC 235: Jones vs. Smith -- against Cody Garbrandt via TKO in the first round.

Jimmie Rivera, on the other hand, is 2-3 in his last 5. His 3 losses were against Marlon Moraes in 2019, Aljamain Sterling in 2019, and Petr Yan in 2019. His most recent win was against Cody Stamann in 2020 -- at UFC on ESPN 13: Kattar vs. Ige -- where he won via unanimous decision.

Munhoz has never been knocked out as his 5 total losses have all been by decision. Rivera’s losses consist of 1 T/KO and 3 decisions. Of his 23 wins, he has 17 by decision, 4 by T/KO, and 2 by submission. Based on their last meeting and what their records hold, we can predict this fight will make it to the scorecards once again. Munhoz holds a lot of weapons in his fight game but Rivera is the more aggressive fighter. Rivera will outstrike Munhoz once again.

UFC Picks:

  • Jimmie Rivera by Points -105
  • Jimmie Rivera -153

Odds provided by BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Jimmie Rivera-153
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