UFC 185 Fight Breakdown: Jared Rosholt vs. Josh Copeland

joshua-copeland One of the prelims at UFC 185 is a three-round heavyweight bout between Jared Rosholt and Josh Copeland. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Rosholt is a -300 favorite (bet $300 to win $100) while Copeland is a +250 underdog (bet $100 to win $250). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Rosholt at -230 and Copeland at +170, and action so far has come in on the favorite Rosholt. This is a heavyweight fight that could go either way, so at the plus money I’ll take the heavy-hitting underdog Copeland. Here’s why. Rosholt (11-2) is 3-1 in the UFC with decision wins over Soa Palelei, Daniel Omielanczuk and Walt Harris and a knockout loss to Oleksiy Oliynyk. The 28-year-old American comes from a wrestling background and he’s definitely one of the better pure wrestlers in the UFC heavyweight division. He is extremely powerful and often finds a way to force his opponents to the floor, even huge heavyweights like Palelei, despite the fact he only weights in at 240lbs for heavyweight. Having said that, he has shown absolutely nothing other than wrestling since joining the UFC. His striking isn’t improving fast enough to catch up with the rest of his game, and he just doesn’t have the knockout power to finish foes in the UFC. He also has a poor chin, and he will be coming into this fight off of a knockout loss, which is never a good sign. With his wrestling ability, Rosholt can beat the majority of UFC heavyweights, but with his chin he can lose to the majority of the big boys too, and that’s why I feel he’s overvalued in this spot against a power puncher in Copeland. Copeland (9-1) is 0-1 in the UFC with a decision loss to Ruslan Magomedov in his Octagon debut. The 32-year-old American was the former RFA heavyweight champion and got a shot in the UFC after winning that belt. He didn’t look great in the UFC, noticeably looking shy and tentative on the feet like he had the Octagon “jitters,” but he wasn’t completely out of his element against a bigger, more powerful striker in Magomedov, either. Prior to the UFC, “The Cuddly Bear” had amassed a 9-0 record with seven wins coming by way of stoppage. He has really good boxing and hits very hard, but he can be defeated against a more varied striker like Magomedov. His wrestling is pretty solid as well, however he could be taken down by a better wrestler. But there’s no doubt he has knockout power, and going up against a guy with a questionable chin like Rosholt, as long as he can keep the fight upright he’ll always have a puncher’s chance to get the knockout. I feel like Copeland is being undervalued here because he didn’t look great in his UFC debut, but I think Rosholt is a good matchup for him to bounce back to. Rosholt has a bad chin and bad defence and Copeland has excellent boxing and powerful hands. I think he can catch Rosholt’s chin in the first round and knock him out before Rosholt takes the fight to the ground to pick up a huge win as a big underdog. I think at the current odds a value play is in order here on Copeland just because Rosholt’s chin is so bad and Copeland’s hands are so good. I won’t go crazy on Copeland because it’s always hard to be confident when betting on heavyweight bouts, but I have to go with him at +250 in a fight where he has a very clear edge on the feet.

Written by Adam Martin.

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