Former Oklahoma State All American Jared Rosholt returns to the octagon this Saturday during the prelims of UFC 185. Rosholt will be attempting to rebound from a loss in his last fight against Alexey Oliynyk. Rosholt was winning that fight and appeared close to finishing Oliynyk, before getting caught and finished by strikes. Rosholt has a professional record of 11-2 and saw his stock quickly rising in the heavyweight division before dropping his last bout. Copeland enters the fight with a professional record of 9-1. However, he also lost his last fight by decision to Ruslan Magomedov.
What a win would mean for Rosholt
If Rosholt is serious about becoming a contender in the heavyweight division, he needs to win this fight. All of his UFC fights have come during prelims, and making it onto a main card is important. Fighting on the main card generally means more money and a higher profile opponent. Rosholt is a win or two away from getting a main card spot, so that makes this fight imperative. A win puts Rosholt in position to potentially reach a top 15 ranking by the end of the year. A second loss in a row would be an enormous setback in his quest to become a contender.
What a win would mean for Copeland
Josh Copeland made his UFC debut in his last fight. It ended with a decision loss. Life on the UFC roster is brief for up and coming fighters who don't win. At this stage Copeland is a few wins from securing a more permanent spot in the UFC and a few losses from losing it all together. Rosholt also presents a unique opportunity for Copeland to demonstrate his ability to counter elite wrestling. Copeland is yet to have an opponent attempt to take him down in the UFC. A win over Rosholt would serve as a big boost to future job security for Copeland.
What to expect when the fighters are standing
Both fighters have three knockout wins in their career. Expect these men to stand in front of each other and trade powerful punches. Expect Rosholt to have a slight advantage as he is the more experienced fighter. According to UFC statistics Rosholt lands 2.67 significant strikes per minute, opposed to 1.33 for Copeland. Copeland also absorbs more damage on average, at 4.2 significant strikes per minute compared to 1.08 for Rosholt. Rosholt should be able to land some power punches, especially with Copeland being extra cautious of takedowns. Anytime two heavyweights are standing and punching each other in the face there is a chance someone will have their night ended early.
What to expect on the ground
Rosholt should have a very significant wrestling advantage. Copeland is blue belt in BJJ, but an elite wrestler like Rosholt should be able to neutralize that. I believe this is where Rosholt wants to take the fight. He will use punches to set up takedown attempts. Copeland has never faced a wrestler of his quality, so I would expect Rosholt to land multiple takedowns. Once on the ground Rosholt will utilize his power to unleash a ground and pound attack on his opponent.
As we have seen before, anything can happen in a fight. With that being said, I expect Rosholt to get back on track with a victory in this fight. I believe the fighters will stand and trade punches for large portions of the fight, but whenever Rosholt feels in danger a takedown will be his safety net. UFC judges place more weight in successful takedowns than almost any other attack and Rosholt should be able to take Copeland down at will. I expect Rosholt to have one or two takedowns each round and grind out a decision win.