The Ultimate Fighting Championship makes its long-awaited return to Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday morning for UFC on ABC 4: Rozenstruick vs. Almeida.
The main event will play host to an intriguing heavyweight encounter between ranked contenders Jairzinho Rozenstruick and Jailton Almeida.
Fight fans can catch UFC on ABC 4: Rozenstruick vs. Almeida on ESPN for the prelims beginning at Noon ET/9 a.m. PT with the main card moving over to ABC at 3 p.m. ET/Noon PT. The show will also be streaming live on ESPN+ throughout its duration.
Main Event — Rozenstruick vs. Almeida
Saturday’s card has been criticized for its lack of star power, but the thought behind a main event consisting of these two heavyweights is sound with a spectacular finish likely in store for those who tune in. Rozenstruick has won more than 90 percent of his fights by way of knockout and carries fight-changing power in his back pocket for as long as he’s still standing. Alistair Overeem found that out the hard way when Rozenstruick knocked him out in D.C. four years ago as time expired on their fight.
We don't stop! There's a heavyweight headliner on deck this Saturday! 💪@JairRozenstruik vs @Malhadinho_UFC at #UFCCharlotte! pic.twitter.com/LRVItNOwwM
— UFC (@ufc) May 8, 2023
On paper, however, the matchup feels like a stylistic nightmare for “Bigi Boy” against heavyweight riser Almeida. “Malhadino” has dabbled at light heavyweight in the past as well, and tipped the scales 30 pounds under the heavyweight limit. He will not necessarily be at a size disadvantage, however, as he boasts a 6-foot-3 frame that certainly looks the part in the UFC’s heavyweight weight division. He also boasts some of the best jiu-jitsu in either weight class, and combines it with smothering grappling that no opponent has thus far had an answer to. In a matchup of striker vs. grappler, the grappler often wins, and it is also possible Almeida shows another wrinkle or two to his game. How the Brazilian deals with a fighter with Rozenstruick’s power will also be something to watch, as Rozenstruick carries an x-factor Almeida has not dealt with yet in any of his UFC opponents.
Rest of the Card
The co-main event will see Johnny Walker taking on Anthony Smith in a battle of ranked light heavyweights. Walker is known for his unorthodox striking style and his ability to finish fights quickly, as well as his inconsistency and lack of striking defense. Smith, meanwhile, boasts an all-around skillset and finishing ability, but has always lacked the one lights-out weapon that could make him a serious contender at 185 or 205 pounds. Similar to the main event, the fans in Charlotte should be in store for a spectacular finish.
Charlotte MMA fans will also get a glimpse into “The Future” when Ian Garry takes on Daniel Rodriguez. While Rodriguez is a tough out for anyone at 170 pounds, the unbeaten Garry finds himself in another winnable matchup. Rodriguez also notably missed weight after Garry left a pizza (among other things) outside his door the night before weigh-ins. It is, at this time, unconfirmed whether or not Rodriguez ate the pizza.
😜🍕 #pizzagate https://t.co/yVqg22itwp
— “The Future” Ian Machado Garry (@iangarryMMA) May 12, 2023
Rounding out the main card will be fan-friendly fights between Ihor Potieria and Carlos Ulberg, as well as Tim Means and Alex Morono. Potieria ended the career of Shogun Rua in Brazil his last time out but should have something to prove in a fighter in Ulberg who, at this point in their careers, will represent a huge step up in competition. Means and Morono, meanwhile, will likely look to stand and trade in the main card opener.
The prelims will not be without intrigue, either. Matt Brown headlines the prelims against Court McGee in a battle of grizzled veterans, while Cody Stamann returns to the cage against Douglas Silva de Andrade in a fight that is scheduled for a 140-pound catchweight. One fight fans might want to keep an eye on is Ji Yeon Kim vs. Mandy Bohm. The two had a testy moment at Friday morning’s ceremonial weigh-ins with Kim incensed at her opponent, reportedly for pulling out of their fight previously, declining a March fight in favor of a vacation, and ultimately costing her the chance to go to her grandmother’s funeral. Given how heavy on action Kim fights tend to be anyway, all eyes should be on her fight this weekend.
UFC on ABC 4: Rozenstruick vs. Almeida Results
Jailton Almeida def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik via Submission (RNC) at 3:43 of Round 1
Johnny Walker def. Anthony Smith def. Johnny Walker via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Ian Garry def. Daniel Rodriguez via TKO (strikes) at 2:57 of Round 1
Carlos Ulberg def. Ihor Potieria via Knockout (Left Hook) at 2:09 of Round 1
Alex Morono def. Tim Means via Submission (Guillotine) at 2:09 of Round 2
Matt Brown def. Court McGee via Knockout (Overhand Right) at 4:07 of Round 1
Karl Williams def. Chase Sherman via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Douglas Silva de Andrade def. Cody Stamann via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mandy Bohm def. Ji Yeon Kim via Split Decision (27-28, 28-27, 28-27)
Bryan Battle def. Gabe Green via Knockout (Right Hook) at :14 of Round 1
Tainara Lisboa def. Jessica-Rose Clark via Submission (RNC) at 4:20 of Round 3