The UFC took two weekends off around the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday but returns this week with its second-ever visit to the American capital city of Washington, D.C. for a Fight Night card headlined by a non-title heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and fill-in Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Here’s a look at that bout and one other on the main card of UFC on ESPN 7 with Mybookie UFC odds.
UFC on ESPN 7 Overeem vs Rozenstruik Odds, Preview & Prediction
- When: Saturday, 9 PM ET
- Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
Alistair Overeem (45-17) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (9-0)Overeem is -125 at Mybookie with Rozenstruik at -105. Overeem is a former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, DREAM Heavyweight Champion, K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, and one of only two fighters to hold world titles in both MMA and K-1 kickboxing at the same time. He fought for the UFC heavyweight title a few years ago against Stipe Miocic but lost by first-round knockout.
The 39-year-old Overeem, from the Netherlands, comes off a first-round TKO win over Alexey Oleinik in April. For a few seconds, it looked as though Oleinik might pull the upset. It took all of a few seconds for him to pull guard and threaten with his signature Ezekiel choke. But Overeem muscled out of it and nearly landed a head kick. After avoiding Oleinik’s crafty submissions, Overeem unleashed a knee that set up a TKO finish at the 4:45 mark of the first round.
“He was putting his head forward and pushing me back,” Overeem said. “I managed to catch him on the chin. I felt weakness, and I finished him off with ground and pound.”
What about Rozenstruik?Rozenstruik is from Suriname with just three fights in the UFC. After he competed in kickboxing with 76 wins and 64 of those by KO, he transitioned to mixed martial arts in 2012.
He is replacing Walt Harris, who had to pull out after the disappearance of his stepdaughter in Alabama. Sadly, her remains were found and three suspects – none in the family – were arrested and one might face the death penalty. Rozenstruik comes off a first-round knockout of Andrei Arlovski in November so he’s taking this on very short rest.
The attempt at trading had Arlovski’s back to the fence, Rozenstruik getting the better of the ex-champ, punctuating things with a leg kick. But a short left, while backing up as Arlovski charged forward, was all it took to send Arlovski crashing to the canvas. “Bigi Boy” has finished eight of his nine career wins inside the distance, with all of those stoppages coming inside the six-minute mark.
Rozenstruik has a unique heavyweight resume thus far: He has not shown much besides his knockout power, but he has also proven about all he can without facing the upper tier of the division.
Stefan Struve (29-11) vs. Ben Rothwell (36-12)Rothwell is -145 and Struve +115 for this heavyweight bout. Struve is from the Netherlands who is the tallest fighter in the history of the UFC at 6-foot-11 – hence his nickname “the Skyscraper.” His most notable win came in 2012 vs. current UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, via TKO.
Stefan ended a three-fight losing streak with a win over Marcos Rogerio de Lima in February. Struve got outwrestled by de Lima for a round and a half until sinking an arm-triangle choke, marking one of the few UFC fights where the victor never landed a significant strike.
Struve then announced his retirement. The decision to want to continue fighting only came after Struve took a break from the game and the frustrations that led him to doubt his future in MMA to begin with.
“I just needed some time to relax and step away from fighting and everything,” Struve said. “I had a hard stretch with three losses and before that I had shoulder surgery, I had two hand surgeries, I fought multiple times with injuries like broken ribs. One of my fights, during fight week, I blew my back.”
What about Rothwell?Rothwell, who is from Wisconsin, will be looking to halt a three-fight losing streak of his own. Most recently, he a decision defeat in an entertaining clash with Andrei Arlovski on July 20. All three judges scored it 30-27. The pair had met once before, under the Affliction banner. That bout saw Arlovski come out on top — back in 2008. Rothwell sat out three years after a USADA sanction (officially for two years) following his loss to Junior Dos Santos in April 2016.
Rothwell is more than content to keep fights standing. He has not completed a successful takedown since fighting Mark Hunt in 2011, in part because he has only attempted one in the eight years since.
Expert UFC on ESPN 7 Betting PicksOvereem by stoppage and Rothwell by decision.
Rest of the UFC on ESPN 7 Card
- Marina Rodriguez vs. Cynthia Calvillo
- Aspen Ladd vs. Yana Kunitskaya
- Cody Stamann vs. Song Yadong
- Rob Font vs. Ricky Simon
- Thiago Alves vs. Tim Means
- Bryce Mitchell vs. Matt Sayles
- Joe Solecki vs. Matt Wiman
- Makhmud Muradov vs. Trevor Smith