UFC on ESPN 9 Betting Pick: Kevin Aguilar vs Charles Rosa

Charles Rosa is another fighter that is getting right back on that proverb horse with the quickness.

Charles just fought Bryce Mitchell less than a month ago at UFC 249. It was a bad night for “Boston Strong” but he was most out-grappled. He didn’t take a lot of head shots so I suppose he is fresh to fight Saturday.

Rosa has good Jiu-Jitsu and is a dog on his feet but lacks the wrestling or striking prowess to succeed at the highest level. He is 3-3 in his UFC career and I am not sure the UFC will re-sign him. Then again, athletes who will fight anybody anytime are not exactly a dime a dozen.

Charles’ opponent, Kevin Aguilar, has a very impressive professional MMA record of 17-3. The Angel of Death is 31 and has been fighting professionally now for over a decade.

Two of those losses are his most recent, though, albeit against high-level competition. Dynamite Dan Ige, who just edged out Edson Barboza on the scorecards, decisioned Kevin about a year ago.

In Aguilar’s most recent contest, though, Aguilar was TKO’ed by the uber-powerful Chechen fighter, Zubaira Tukhugov. It wasn’t sleepytime so that’s good for Kevin because this was at the end of February.

He was dropped with a left hook and appeared to be consciously defending but in the dying cockroach position and a deadly Russian raining down shots, it wasn’t much he could do.

I do not foresee Charles Rosa connecting with the same kind of power as Tukhugov. We will see, though.

The online sportsbook BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for this week’s fight. Let’s get to our predictions for Kevin Aguilar vs Charles Rosa.

Kevin Aguilar (-183) vs Charles Rosa (+158)

Round Total

OVER 2.5

Kevin’s last two matchups have been rough ones and those two guys are destined for the top 10 and maybe 5 in the next year or so.

Looking at the measurables of Kevin Aguilar and I am getting really jealous.

I’m 6’1 with a 73-inch reach. That is fairly normal. I just have narrow shoulders and long arms. The Angel of Death stands at only 5’7” but his arms and shoulders span the same width.

I guess I would rather be my height but man, those are some broad shoulders. That is a big reason Kevin has defended 13 of 14 takedown attempts in his UFC career.

How so?

  • Well, if you have the wider shoulders and/or are the bigger person in the fight, you can normally control who has their back against the fence and who doesn’t.
  • Those wide shoulders also help with punching power. Kevin can hit pretty hard for the weight class but not death touch power like he felt against Tukhugov.

I like his leg kicks also. They are very quick but still heavy.

Rosa does have two of his three UFC wins by submission so Kev will likely want to keep this fight standing where I believe he has the advantage.

As long as he stays off the mat, I think Aguilar cruises to a decision win. Although he is giving up 2 inches in height to his opponent, Aguilar will have a 4-inch reach advantage.

Kevin Aguilar is also three years younger than the nearly 34-year-old Rosa.

Better striking and outstanding takedown defense against a fighter who generally relies on his opponents to take the fight to the ground.

The small cage could make this one interesting but I think Kevin has as much dog in him as Rosa, so I don’t see him wilting from the pressure.

The small cage looks to be directly correlated with fights ending earlier than expected over the past couple of weeks. The sample size isn’t large enough for us to say it definitely leads to earlier and more finishes.

I think it’s common sense, though. Less space equals more contact.

If the small cage helps a fighter who prefers to use the fence to hold their opponents, then it works against an earlier stoppage.

I am not completely sure who is going to take the center of the Octagon between these two but I would think Aguilar. From watching tape on both guys, I think that’s a good assumption.

On the feet, Kevin is more technical and more powerful. Rosa is great at making things ugly but in a quiet venue, I don’t think the judges will have very much doubt after 15 minutes.

I think there is value on the under as well. It opened at (-125) and the money has poured in on the over 2.5 rounds.

I understand why but at what point does the under start to show value? Kevin Aguilar has finished 5 of his last 11 wins by strikes.

This was all in LFA too. This is a really solid organization and Aguilar was the champ for a while. It’s not likely but the (+170) is worth ½ to 1 unit.

My Picks

In Conclusion

It will be nice if we can get both of these wins on Saturday night.

The over 2.5 rounds opened at (-105)! It’s now (-210). I don’t see jumps like that very often with round totals. These sharp bettors have really made their voices heard in UFC betting ever since the lockdown.

They have the time but many are also realizing that it’s mighty difficult to argue for any sport’s betting value against MMA. With that being said, I am killing it in NASCAR lately.

We picked the winner and a top 3 finisher in each of the last two races. That’s with only picking 2 for the win and 2 for the top 3 each time. We have lost money for two straight weeks, though, in UFC betting.

I mentioned in another pick article that it isn’t for a lack of effort. I may have just been overthinking things a bit. Sometimes we stare at the betting lines for so long, our gut feeling and/or the eye test goes out the window or is clouded.

Aguilar is the side here. If he were to get bet up to (-300) like some of these favorites have lately, I would look at Charles Rosa but his only path to victory on Saturday is to make it so ugly the judges can’t make a good decision.

Aguilar for the win and sprinkle some dough on that under. 5 out of your last 11 wins by TKO in LFA at the championship level is impressive.

Those 5 opponents he finishes have a combined 7 losses in their respective careers.

Get your bets in now and enjoy the scrap on Saturday night!

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.