Where: UFC Apex Facility, Las Vegas Nevada (slightly smaller Octagon than standard UFC events)
When: Saturday, May 30. Prelims begin at 6PM (ET)
Charles Rosa (+154) vs. Kevin Aguilar (-188)
Rosa recently lost to Bryce Mitchell at UFC 249. He was able to go the distance but there really wasn’t a point in the fight where he wasn’t being out-wrestled. I personally wouldn’t put much stock in that fight given the level Bryce Mitchell looks to be on, but that’s just me.
The bout prior to the Mitchell fight went much better on the ground for Rosa. Despite being forced to fight off his back for almost the entire first round, Rosa secured an armbar against Manny Bermudez. It seemingly happened out of nowhere and highlight’s Rosa’s ability off his back against lesser grapplers than Bryce Mitchell.
As for Kevin Aguilar, he heads into this UFC Apex bout on a two fight losing streak, albeit against very tough opponents. He was most recently knocked out by Zubaira Tukhugov in the first round back in February. He got caught by a looping right that Tukhugov’s unconventional striking is known for. Prior to the Tukhugov loss, he lost a decision to Dan Ige in a highly competitive fight.
Before the recent losses, Kevin Aguilar was 17-1 professionally with UFC wins over Enrique Barzola and Rick Glenn. The Texas native is very well rounded with solid scrambling and very heavy hands. Though he can stand a bit flat footed at times, which makes him hittable, the power is always there. He’s also demonstrated the ability to hold his own in the wrestling department while stuffing all seven of Enrique Barzola’s takedown attempts. Aguilar has been somewhat of a rhythm fighter in the past and when he’s in one, it’s noticeable.
As for Charles Rosa, the ground game is certainly above average. He’s dangerous off his back and has years of UFC experience. He knows how to adjust and his striking is game. With that said, I don’t see a path to victory for Rosa outside a submission of opportunity.
Aguilar has the striking advantage and if he could stuff seven Barzola takedowns, I don’t see Rosa having much success going that route. If Rosa has to stand and trade with Aguilar, the power will be difficult to handle. Aguilar also has the physicality to out-wrestle Rosa, so there really isn’t an area where Rosa clearly stands out.
We cashed Tukhugov last go around, but I like Kevin Aguilar in this fight. If I had to guess on a method of victory I’d say by decision (-115), but with the line currently at (-188) for Aguilar, I’ll stick with that. It’s moved up from (-166) in recent days, so this trend will likely continue.
Prediction and play: Kevin Aguilar (-188)
Karl Roberson (+196) vs. Marvin Vettori (-245)
Initially scheduled to take place in Jacksonville, Karl Roberson vs. Marvin Vettori has been re-booked for this weekend with a little bit of added flair. Roberson was forced to withdraw from the previous match-up following a bad weight cut that caused him to pass out. This led to a heated altercation between the two at a hotel, where Vettori showed up to confront Roberson as he was leaving.
Fight hype aside, Roberson is 4-2 in the UFC outright with victories against Jack Marshman, Darren Stewart and most recently, a very impressive submission win against Roman Kopylov in Moscow. Roberson – now 29 – is riding a two fight winning streak, with his last loss coming against Glover Teixeira in January of last year.
As for Vettori, the Italian is also riding a two fight winning streak with his last loss coming against current division champion Israel Adesanya in 2018. Vettori lost by split decision in a close fight in which he was never getting dominated by any stretch. Adesanya was winning the striking exchanges, but he certainly wasn’t running away with them.
Vettori was then suspended for six months following a positive test for ostarine and wasn’t eligible to fight until February of last year. Following the suspension, Vettori has secured comfortable, unanimous decision wins against Andrew Sanchez and Cezar Ferreira.
I would not at all be surprised if both of these fighters find themselves ranked at some point in the next few months or years.
As for this fight, I have to give the edge to Vettori. He has looked very impressive following the suspension with great movement and an excellent chin. His cardio is top notch and he should have a ground advantage over Roberson.
Karl Roberson will have the edge in power but I don’t think it will be enough to put down Vettori. “The Italian Dream” has never been finished despite facing strikers with similar to that of Roberson. I also do not believe that Vettori will be able to finish Roberson. I see Vettori out-landing and possibly out-grappling to a unanimous decision win.
Karl Roberson also missed weight today, weighing in at 190.5.
With that said, Vettori by knockout is at (+700) on FanDuel. Though Vettori has yet to secure a knockout victory at the UFC level, the power is there. Throw in the weight issues for Roberson and (+700) is worth a lottery ticket. Ultimately though, I’ll just stick with the money-line on this one and most likely parlay it with Aguilar. The line has moved since the first fight, with Vettori up from (-178).