UFC 185 Play: Jared Rosholt (-320) vs Josh Copeland (+260)

Josh-CopelandUFC 185 Date: 03/14/15 Arena: American Airlines Center City: Dallas, TX Heavyweight bout: Jared Rosholt (-320) vs Josh Copeland (+260) Fight Breakdown: Getting the action started for the UFC 185 preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 will be a heavyweight scrap between Texas native Jared “The Big Show” Rosholt and Colorado native Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland, with Rosholt being the betting favorite at -320 ($320 to win $100) and his opponent Copeland being an underdog to win at +260 ($100 to win $260) at Several Bookmakerss. Jared “The Big Show” Rosholt (11-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) strung together three Octagon victories in a row, defeating Walt Harris, Daniel Omielanczuk and Soa Palelei all by unanimous decision, but unfortunately had his train derailed by Oleksiy Oliynyk in his latest outing. He was getting the better of the Ukrainian on the feet and hurt him a couple of times, but it was Oliynyk who connected with the fight ending shot, which was a counter left-hook that dropped Rosholt the canvas and had him out cold. Now following his first Octagon defeat, he will be looking to return to the win column in front of his hometown crowd on Saturday night. “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 28-year-olds striking skills have been rudimentary, but he has been making improvements in the department, displaying some decent boxing against Oliynyk in his last bout. He made it a point to show off his improved striking in that bout, and it ultimately cost him. The reason for that his striking defense is very poor, and he does not have a good chin, either. The only two losses in his professional mixed martial arts career have been due to knockout. Rosholt possesses heavy hands and while he has improved his offensive striking, he has not made any improvements with his defense on the feet. The Texan has a decent straight-right, throws vicious uppercuts and likes to lead with a left-hook. He has developed solid kicks, as well, displaying some heavy leg kicks in his last outing. When opting to strike, Rosholt is aggressive and really likes to mix things up, even implementing numerous knee and elbow strikes in his offensive attack. When up against the cage, he is quite powerful and goes a fantastic job of using his underhooks to keep dominant position over his opponents. The 28-year-old is very strong inside the clinch up against the cage, doing an excellent job of using all of his weight to remain heavy on opponents, and excellently implements his head; all while mixing in some strikes. “The Big Show” works very good takedowns, including solid singles, doubles and a nice body-lock takedown, and he is very effective in top position on the mat. He stays heavy and dominant, and works a solid ground and pound attack. His defensive wrestling is good, as well. He has good takedown defense and an excellent sprawl. When taken down, he does a good job of finding his way back to his feet. Rosholt is a well-conditioned athlete who will be ready to go all three rounds of action this Saturday night, if necessary. Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) made his Octagon debut over three months ago at UFC Fight Night 57, where he took on Jackson-Winklejohn MMA heavyweight Ruslan Magomedov and lost the bout via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards following three rounds of action on the feet. Heading into his second UFC bout on enemy territory in Dallas, he will have UFC veteran Justin Wren in his corner and he’ll be aiming to score an upset of the hometown favorite in an effort to get his first Octagon victory and return to the win column. The former-RFA heavyweight is not the most technical striker, but he is very solid on the feet, largely due to his aggression and knockout power. He is a durable athlete who possesses serious power in his hands, with his right hand being his most dangerous weapon. He has an excellent left hook and often leads with it. Copeland faints well and throws a ferocious overhand right, but is also quite effective with his overhand left. He is an aggressive fighter who likes to stalk his opponents, but is also good at countering them. The Colorado native is very quick on his feet for a heavyweight and has decent head movement with an excellent chin to go with it. He is a very tough fighter with great cardio who will be ready for a 15-minute war against Rosholt, should the fight hit the judges’ scorecards for a decision. His takedown defense will certainly be tested against the former Oklahoma State Division I wrestler; that is unless he tests Rosholt’s chin first and it doesn’t pass the exam. Copeland puts together some solid combinations on the feet and he is very strong inslide the clinch, doing a good job of controlling his opponents against the cage. However, against Rosholt, that may be a position he will look to avoid. Gabe’s Thoughts: I think this fight is a lot closer than the betting odds indicate, as I think Rosholt’s only chance at winning this fight is to outwrestle Copeland for the majority of 15-minutes of action. While that is completely within the realm of possibility, I am not counting on it to happen. I think Copeland is stylistically a very dangerous opponent for Rosholt. I believe one good shot is all he needs to put Rosholt away and get his first UFC win out of the way. Whether Copeland puts Rosholt to sleep or manages to keep the fight on the feet long enough to win a decision, I favor him to get his hand raised in Dallas this Saturday night. It is also worth noting that Copeland spent time training with Rosholt at Team Takedown prior to his UFC debut, so both fighters more or less know what to expect when they enter the Octagon this weekend. Gabe’s Call: “Cuddly Bear” by T/KO (punch, 0:20 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Copeland (+260) 3.25u to win 8.45u

Written by Gabe Killian

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