The main event of the UFC Vegas 56 will be an explosive fight between Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Here are our predictions for the main fight of the card.
UFC Vegas 56: Volkov vs Rozenstruik Preview
Alexander Volkov Preview
Alexander is a 33-year-old fighter from Russia. He joined the UFC in 2016, being an experienced fighter. Before moving to the strongest league in the world, Volkov became the heavyweight champion in Bellator in 2012 and in M-1 in 2016.
Volkov 2 times was close to the fight for the title in the UFC. In 2018, he was on a 4 win streak. But in a fight with Derrick Lewis, where Alexander dominated for 14 minutes 48 seconds, he ran into a powerful overhand from an opponent and fell into a knockout. In 2021, Volkov again entered the Candidates fight. This time he opposed Cyril Gan. Alexander showed nothing in that fight and lost by unanimous decision.
Volkov's last fight took place in March 2022. His opponent was Tom Aspinall. Alexander lost by submission in the 1st round.
Volkov's style and abilities
Volkov is a pronounced puncher. He has a background in karate and kickboxing. His style is distinguished by fast and accurate punches and kicks. He once had an incredible streak of wins in Bellator and even won the vacant Bellator Heavyweight World Championship. But his experience in the UFC has not been as great – 8 wins and 4 losses.
It seems that Alexander is tired of both fighting and training. He lost the fight against Cyril Gane (not without the help of his coach, Taras Kiyashko), in the fight against Marcin Tybura he was very slow, quickly breathing and just walking, throwing single shots at his opponent to score points.
In the last fight, it turned out that Alexander also lost his good defense on the ground. For example, in a fight against Curtis Blaydes, Volkov defended well. When he could not rise to his feet, he pressed his opponent to himself, preventing him from developing an attack. But that was 2 years ago and last year, in the duel against Aspinall, Volkov simply gave his hand to the kimura.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik Preview
Jairzinho is a 34-year-old fighter from Suriname. He joined the UFC quite recently – in 2019, and immediately went on a hot streak of 4 wins in a row. He beat Junior Albini by knockout in the 2nd round, Allen Crowder with a 1st round knockout, Arlovsky by a 1st round knockout and Alistair Overeem by a 5th round knockout.
The Surinamese's ascent was interrupted by Francis Ngannou in May 2020, when he knocked out Rozenstruik in 20 seconds. Since then, Jairzinho has alternated victories and defeats. Rozenstruik's last fight was in September 2021. His opponent was Curtis Blaydes. Rozenstruik lost by unanimous decision.
Rozenstruik's style and abilities
Jairzinho is a basic kickboxer. First of all, the fighter is distinguished by impressive physical strength and knockout power. Rozenstruik has good takedown defense, blocking 75% of the attempts to take him to the ground.
But because of the enormous physical power and muscle mass, Rozenstruik's mobility suffers. He stagnates a lot and does not try to get away from the blows, which results in his opponents having a higher number of significant strikes.
Rozenstruik is a much more powerful fighter than Volkov and he will look for that one-punch-knockout that he became famous for.
Volkov vs Rozenstruik Predictions: Rozenstruik To Win @ 5/4 (2.25) + Under 4.5 Rounds @4/5 (1.80)
The golden years of Alexander are behind him already. The fighter is just tired. He is not ready to fight to the end and cannot turn the tide of the fight when he starts to lose. Yes, he will have an advantage in speed and mobility, and he will be able to poke Rozenstruik at a comfortable distance. But what will happen to Volkov when Jairzinho hits him? I doubt that he will defend himself if he flies into a knockdown.
There are questions about Volkov's cardio. If he enters the fight in the same form that he was in the last 2 fights, I doubt that he will have enough endurance and mobility for 5 rounds. At the same time, Jairzinho proved to be dangerous from the 1st to the 25th minute in the octagon. Therefore, there is a high probability that as soon as Alexander gives up the initiative a little, Rozenstruik will take advantage of this and win.
Both fighters have little experience in wrestling and we also expect this fight to end ahead of time. There is great value in the Under 4.5 Rounds and Under 3.5 Rounds markets. Both have had long fights in the past but there is a great difference in power between them and Rozenstruik should be able to end this one in round 2 or 3.