UFC 249 Betting Pick: Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Whew doggy…

This is a big one!

Francis Ngannou has been dispatching his opponents faster than a 911 operator sends a unit out to a Florida man on the first full moon Friday night after Father’s Day.

Listen to what this man has been able to do in just 4 and a half years with the promotion.

That’s about how long Ngannou has been training MMA as well. He is that much of a freak.

9-2 in the UFC with 7 first round finishes including his last three.

Both of his losses came in 2018. First, he fought Stipe Miocic before he was really ready.

Without a sufficient wrestling base and the kind of slow-twitch muscle endurance that you can only get from wrestling, Stipe steamrolled the Cameroon-born Ngannou for 5 rounds.

In his next contest, Franky and The Black Beast Derrick Lewis had a staring match.

This was the worst MMA fight of all-time.

That is hard to argue.

And when you consider that at the time, Ngannou was 6-1 in the UFC w 6 finishes and Derrick was 9-2 with 8 stoppages, man…

Whoever took the “fight goes to a decision” prop for probably (+2000) was the only person in the world smiling during this snoozefest.

Nobody saw that one coming.

I think a big part of it was that Francis Ngannou thought he was unbeatable and I did hear that he wasn’t even training wrestling at this time.

He believed in himself that much and with the resume he had, it was hard to make the argument otherwise.

He fought Derrick right after Stipe and he just wasn’t mentally there.

Since then, though, Francis is 3/3 w 3 first round TKO’s.

The UFC didn’t just feed him the Combat Wombat like they would with Greg Hardy.

Francis got Curtis Blaydes, Cain Velasquez, and Junior Dos Santos.

He smoked each of them.

I think Ngannou rolls here but let’s look at the odds and find the best value.

Francis Ngannou (-265) vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+225)


Okay, I’m not laying the juice on ol’ Franky as it is.

Let me show you a fairly easy trick.

Say, we think Francis is going to win, which we do.


“Francis wins inside the distance” (-150) is a good start.

We could pick this one to go to a decision but history is clearly not on our side with either fighter.

We can get (-130) on a TKO finish. It is highly unlikely that Ngannou submits Jairzinho but eh, there is a possibility Ngannou could fight intelligently and take the kickboxer out of his comfort zone.

As I am leaning towards the under 1.5 as my best value pick, I glimpse at the strikes landed per minute for Ngannou and it is not the number you might imagine.

Just guess.

4? 5? 6?


He lands 2 strikes per minute.

In his last three fights, against two former world heavyweight champions and a top five UFC fighter, Francis was in there for a total of 2 and a half minutes.

We can’t forget his 6 straight wins in under 3 rounds to start his UFC career.

What a savage.

I haven’t spoken about Rozenstruik very much.

While I do get a little Ngannou crazy just like a casual fan, the identity of his opponents usually doesn’t matter all that much.

I think he would destroy Derrick Lewis in a rematch and could send Stipe into firefighter heaven for at least five minutes until the Ohio-hard second-generation American awakes.

Oh yeah, Jairzinho…

He surprised us all when he hung in there for 5 minutes of being out-struck by Alistair Overeem only to split the Dutchman’s lip like the Red Sea with seconds remaining in the fight.

I picked Rozenstruik and was just waiting on the decision so I could cry myself to sleep when he got the Reem on his heels and the shorter arms finally caught up as Alistair’s butt touched the cage.

One thing that worries me here is that Jairzinho is a dog and I am simply not convinced that Franky has comparable gameness.

Some people are going to hate me for this one but here goes: You will be hard-pressed to find a French fighter who is KNOWN for their heart.

Take Georges St Pierre, for example. He is the greatest mixed martial artist w French blood of all-time.

I guess when you’re as dominant as GSP or Ngannou, you seldom need grit.

Georges was THAT much better than all of his opponents during his title reign but 5 years of his prime went by without him recording one finish.

He avoided the fight within the fight. He fought smart and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Floyd Mayweather-SMART FIGHTER.

Arturo Gatti-KNOWN for his heart.


Rozenstruik is a very slick striker, though.

If he is able to take Ngannou’s best punch and keep coming, it may change the mood in there enough to turn the tide.

I think these two are just too powerful and before his last fight with Overeem, Rozenstruik finished his previous three opponents in a total of 62 seconds.

I get it. Their striking skills could cancel out but their power will not.

Take the under.

My Picks

In Conclusion

They might as well call this one the co-co-main event because fireworks are almost guaranteed.

Both of these fighters are KNOWN to get their opponents out of there as soon as possible.

We are getting close to even money and I would say there is close to a 75% chance this one ends before the 2:30 mark of round #2.

Francis has the reach and Rozenstruik is experienced enough of a striker to know darn well he can’t wait for the perfect opportunity.

MMA gloves are too small to simply and efficiently cover big punches consistently.

Rozy has a strong kickboxing background so he matches up fairly well against this freak of a man.

He is going to have to close the distance, though, and when he does…

I can see a check uppercut or hook followed up by that devastating right hand of his.

Both men respect the striking prowess not to mention the power of their opponent and because of that, there will be an urgency to finish.

Get your bets in now and enjoy the fights on Saturday night, guys and girls!

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.