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UFC Predictions: UFC Vegas 20: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane predictions and picks

Jairzinho Rozenstruik faces Ciryl Gane in a Heavyweight clash in this weekend
Jairzinho Rozenstruik faces Ciryl Gane in a Heavyweight clash in this weekend's UFC main event.
Scott Newman
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 22 Feb 2021
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The UFC is back in Las Vegas this weekend for UFC Vegas 20. And like with last week’s show, there is a major Heavyweight clash in the main event.

UFC Vegas 20 sees highly-ranked Heavyweight contenders Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Ciryl Gane facing off. The co-main sees Nikita Krylov face Magomed Ankalaev.

Overall this looks like a pretty solid show with plenty of cool fights to look forward to.

Here are the predicted outcomes for UFC Vegas 20: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane.


#1 UFC Heavyweight division: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Ciryl Gane

Ciryl Gane has looked awesome thus far into his UFC career.
Ciryl Gane has looked awesome thus far into his UFC career.

Although Jon Jones has reportedly been promised a shot at the winner of the upcoming UFC Heavyweight title fight between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou, the result of last weekend’s UFC main event has added intrigue to this clash.

After Derrick Lewis – who has already had a failed title shot – defeated Curtis Blaydes, there’s a definite chance that the winner of this fight could leapfrog The Black Beast and find themselves next in line behind Jones.

Of course, that scenario would be much more likely if Gane were to win. The hulking Frenchman is 4-0 in the UFC, and thus far, no opponent has come close to even testing him.

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Rozenstruik, on the other hand, was knocked out cold by Ngannou last May. And so if The Predator were to find himself the UFC Heavyweight champion, it’d be hard to justify a title shot for ‘Bigi Boy.’

So how will this fight play out?

On paper, at least, it looks like a battle of strikers. Suriname’s Rozenstruik is a kickboxer with plenty of credentials, carrying a record of 76-8-1 in that sport. In MMA, meanwhile, he’s 11-1, with five of those wins coming in the UFC.

Gane has a background in Muay Thai himself, going 7-0 on the French regional scene. He’s only been fighting MMA since 2018, but he’s already 7-0 in that sport too.

However, the clear distinction between the two fighters is in their grappling. Rozenstruik has knocked out most of his opponents quickly, but Alistair Overeem was able to work him over with relative ease on the ground.

Sure, Bigi Boy eventually knocked the UFC veteran out, but it came at the very end of the fifth round. Had he not landed a haymaker, Overeem likely would’ve won a comfortable decision.

Gane, on the other hand, has already shown himself to be comfortable on the ground. Two of his UFC wins have come via submission – one by heel hook in the third round of a fight he dominated on the feet. And he had one tap-out to his name prior to his UFC tenure.

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Add in the fact that Gane has a 4” reach advantage and appears to be more adept in the clinch than Rozenstruik, and I think this is probably his fight to lose.

He’ll have to be very careful in the sense that Rozenstruik has the power to put any opponent out with one single shot – he’s knocked foes out with jabs in the UFC.

However, if Gane can ensure that Bigi Boy has to fear both the takedown and the clinch, then he should be able to back him up enough to give him little more than a puncher’s chance. The most likely outcome will probably be ‘Bon Gamin’ taking Rozenstruik down for either a TKO or submission.

The Pick: Gane via second-round TKO

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Published 22 Feb 2021, 18:50 IST
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