UFC Fight Night 43 Play: Jared “Big Show” Rosholt (-140) vs Soa “The Hulk” Palelei (+120)

JaredRosholt_HeadshotUFC Fight Night 43 Date: June 28, 2014 Arena: Vector Arena City: Auckland, New Zealand Heavyweight bout: Jared “Big Show” Rosholt (-140) vs Soa “The Hulk” Palelei (+120) Fight Breakdown: The main card for UFC Fight Night 43 will feature a heavyweight contest between former Oklahoma State wrestler Jared “Big Show” Rosholt and New Zealand’s own, Soa “The Hulk” Palelei. Rosholt is the favorite in this bout at -140 ($140 to win $100), with Palelei being a betting underdog at +120 ($100 to win $120) at Several Bookmakerss. Jared “Big Show” Rosholt (10-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) made his promotional debut at The Ultimate Fighter 18 finale over four months ago, notching a unanimous decision victory over Walt Harris on the judges’ scorecards. He displayed great heart and recovery, as Harris had him hurt in the early going of the fight. He followed that up with another unanimous decision victory, coming against Polish fighter Daniel Omielanczuk just a couple of months ago in Abu Dhabi. Now with a pair of Octagon victories under his belt, Rosholt rides a six-fight winning streak, and looks to make it seven in a row in New Zealand. “The Big Show” is a talented NCAA Division I wrestler who competed for Oklahoma State University and holds the school record for most wins by a heavyweight. After his college career, the three-time All-American decided he was not done competing at a high level, so he followed his older brother, UFC veteran Jake Rosholt’s footsteps and made the transition into mixed martial arts. The 27 year old’s striking skills are elementary, as he generally uses it to set up his takedowns. His footwork is okay, but his striking defense is not very good. He gets tagged easily, and by fighters who are not talented strikers, so that could spell for trouble against Palelei, should he make the mistake of opting to stand and trade with him, rather than stick to his bread and butter: wrestling. Rosholt is a well-conditioned athlete who will be ready to go all three rounds of action, and I expect him to have the edge in cardio in heavyweight tilt. Soa “The Hulk” Palelei (20-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is set to make his fifth appearance inside the Octagon, following a pair of first round knockout victories over Pat Barry and Ruan Potts, both from the ground and pound position, displaying how dangerous he is when he gets on top of his opponents. When in top position on the mat, not only do opponents have to worry about his submission game, but also the heavy leather he rains down in true “Hulk” fashion. All 11 of the wins on his current 11-fight winning streak have come by way of T/KO, and nine of them in the very first round of action. “The Hulk” is a decent striker with solid boxing skills who throws beautiful jumping jabs and hooks that stagger his opponents. He has recently spent time training in Thailand and sharpening up his Muay Thai. I think if he finds success in keeping this fight on the feet, he will be incorporating some vicious leg kicks in his attack, though he would be wise to keep them limited to avoid being taken down. The 36-year old has average takedowns but his aforementioned ground and pound is vicious. He is talented on the mat and has a great submission game, owning a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Palelei is an American Top Team product whose cardio is questionable heading into this bout. He did not look good in his promotional debut and his following two bouts have resulted in early finishes, so it will be interesting to see how his conditioning fares outside the first five minutes of action, should he fail to score another early finish. Gabe’s Thoughts: I think Rosholt is going to use his superior wrestling to earn a unanimous decision victory in this bout. If Palelei gasses, he can earn the finish, but I feel like cardio isn’t going to be a major issue for him in this bout. I think Rosholt is going to win this fight and see value in him at the current line of -140, but I felt the same way about Brendan Schaub against Arlovski and we saw how that went. Rosholt can still win every round and end up losing a hometown decision here; that would not surprise me, so for that reason especially, I favor a lot on the over 1.5 rounds at +125. It offers more value and is a safer bet, in case there is a robbery. I think line for the over 1.5 should be -200, so I will definitely be making a big move at the current underdog price of +125. Gabe’s Call: “Big Show” by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Over 1.5 rounds (+125) 5u to win 6.25u

Written by Gabe Killian

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