On Saturday night, UFC will head to the nation’s capital for UFC on ESPN 7, from Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. The headliner was supposed to be a heavyweight tilt between Alistair Overeem, former Strikeforce Heavyweight champ and the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion in 2010, and Walt Harris. However, Harris stepped out of the bout about a month ago in the midst of a search for his stepdaughter, who had been abducted. Jairzinho Rozenstruik has replaced him in the main event. The co-main event will pit Marina Rodriguez against Cynthia Calvillo in a women’s catchweight bout. We have the full fight card as well as sports betting insights on some of the key matchups.
UFC on ESPN 7 Odds, Overeem vs Rozenstruik Betting Preview & Prediction
- When: Saturday, 9 PM ET
- Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
Main Card (ESPN)
- Alistair Overeem vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (Heavyweight)
- Marina Rodriguez vs Cynthia Calvillo (Catchweight – 120.5 lbs)
- Stefan Struve vs Ben Rothwell (Heavyweight)
- Aspen Ladd vs Yana Kunitskaya (Women’s Bantamweight)
- Cody Stamann vs Song Yadong (Bantamweight)
- Rob Font vs Ricky Simon (Bantamweight)
Preliminary Card (ESPN)
- Thiago Alves vs Tim Means (Welterweight)
- Billy Quarantillo vs Jacob Kilburn (Featherweight)
- Bryce Mitchell vs Matt Sayles (Catchweight – 148.5 lbs)
- Joe Solecki vs Matt Wiman (Lightweight)
Early Preliminary Card (ESPN+)
- Virna Jandiroba vs Mallory Martin (Women’s Strawweight)
- Makhmud Muradov vs Trevor Smith (Middleweight)
Alastair Overeem (45-17) vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (9-0)
- UFC Odds: Overeem -125 / Rozenstruik +105
This one gives us a fighter in Overeem who has fought against the odds of a lengthy suspension and other setbacks to reestablish himself as the premier veteran in the UFC heavyweight class. He has not fared well against the younger crop of top heavyweights, as Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou have administered beatings to him, but he did dismantle Sergei Pavlovich in 2018, showing that not all of the young heavyweights can beat him yet. He also took down Alexey Oleynik in April, in a main event, and now he gets another headliner in a fight against a new up-and-comer.
Rozenstruik struggled in his UFC debut against Junior Albini, getting the win despite losing a lot of points in the first round, but after that he has looked golden. In the second round against Albini, he delivered a quick knockout, and then it took Rozenstruik a combined 38 seconds to finish fights against Allen Crowder and Andrei Arlovski. His knockout power appears to be elite, but it remains to be seen what he will do when he takes on a proven fighter that has better defenses. Overeem is likely to take a less aggressive opening approach than Crowder and Arlovski did, as both wanted to push the envelope and left gaps in their defenses. Overeem has shown that he can get things to the mat and then move to the top position. Given Overeem’s experience, he should be able to find the holes in Rozenstruik’s ground game and push this to a stoppage.
Final Prediction: Overeem wins via stoppage
Marina Rodriguez (12-0-1) vs Cynthia Calvillo (8-1)
- UFC Odds: Rodriguez -135 / Calvillo +115
This is Calvillo’s next step in a process that has taken longer than she had thought. She has alternated dominant fights over the likes of Amanda Bobby Cooper and Pearl Gonzalez with less impressive wins and even a loss to Carla Esparza. In 2018, she missed a lot of time due to a suspension for failing a marijuana test, and then she broke her foot in February. This will be her return. She needs to focus on her wrestling, as that is her forte, but when that has not worked, she has been too quick to settle for striking — and she is not a striker.
Calvillo will get her toughest UFC challenge yet in Rodriguez. She has beaten the likes of Randa Markos, Jessica Aguilar and Tecia Torres in similar fashion, losing on points early before establishing her kickboxing in the second round and beyond. The most impressive of the three fights was her win against Torres in August. Rodriguez has shown, though, that she will start slowly, which should give Calvillo the opportunity she needs to get on top and deliver the submission.
Final Prediction: Calvillo wins via submission