UFC Fight Night Betting

UFC Fight Night: Volkov v Rozenstruik Predictions

Top-10 heavyweights headline UFC Vegas 56 as Alexander Volkov faces fellow hard-hitting striker Jairzinho Rozenstruik at the APEX on Saturday night, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

Ranked featherweights throwdown in the co-main event as Dan Ige meets the undefeated Movsar Evloev, while Michael Trizano welcomes Lucas Almeida to the Octagon in another fascinating fight in the 145-pound division.

It’s a battle of Brazilians at flyweight with hot prospect Karine Silva squaring off with Poliana Botelho, light heavyweight Alonzo Menifield and Askar Mozharov will look to steal the show and strawweight veterans Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz are set to settle the score four years after their first encounter.

MAIN CARD (from 10 PM Saturday SA time):

Alexander Volkov (1.60) v Jairzinho Rozenstruik (2.30) (Heavyweight)

The main event’s set to be a high-level striking chess match, or better put, an elite striking stress match. Both men are coming off a loss and are proven knockout artists, so there will be no room for error once the Octagon door closes. 

Every step and strike will have to be calculated and with both being cerebral competitors, this will most likely be a tense and methodical match-up. It’ll require patience, both from the fighters and spectators, but stick with them and don’t look away.

The behemoths have 33 knockouts between them. Twenty-two of those belong to Volkov (34-10), while 11 of Rozenstruik’s 12 wins are by KO. The latter also has a lethal legacy as a champion kickboxer before transitioning to MMA, holding a sensational record of 76-8 with 64 knockouts in the sport.

Stylistically, seventh-ranked Volkov is a seasoned and patient tactician. A giant among giants, the 6’7″ Russian knows how to maximise his size advantage, which in this case is five inches in height and two inches in reach.

Eighth-ranked Rozenstruik tends to load up more and picks his spots. That puts him at a disadvantage against Volkov, who throws over twice as many strikes as “Bigi Boy.” That narrows down the likely outcomes to “Drago” by decision or Rozenstruik by knockout. 

As a wily veteran, Volkov is as defensively sound as they come. Part of his defence in this fight will be offence from the outside. Staying on the outside will be an obvious but effective strategy and the former Bellator champion’s the better mixed martial artist, so while he seldom goes for takedowns, he’ll clinch and look to chain wrestle when Rozenstruik closes the gap. 

As a result, I expect Volkov to outfox and outpoint the man from Suriname. 

Prediction: Volkov via decision.

Best Bet: Volkov at 1.60.

Alternative Bet: Volkov by decision at 2.65.

Dan Ige (4.05) v Movsar Evloev (1.23) (Featherweight)

A veteran who’s fought the who’s who at 145 pounds, 10th-ranked Ige (15-5) stands as the litmus test for the undefeated Evloev. 

A third of the Russian’s flawless 15-0 run has played out in the UFC, all five of those wins coming by decision to move him up to 13th in the rankings. A wrestling specialist with commanding top control, he’s predictable yet has proved to be unstoppable thus far.

Ige’s on a two-fight losing skid but he’s a significant step up in competition for Evloev. He’s fought nothing but fellow fan-friendly strikers over the last few years, so he’s jumping in at the deep end of the takedown pool. It’s a bold but ill-advised move. 

It seems inevitable that the Hawaiian will wind up on his back, and while he’s a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Evloev is so heavy and smothering on top that he’ll be able to stay safe of submissions and grind out a win to take Ige’s place in the top 10.

Prediction: Evloev via decision.

Best Bet: Evloev by decision at 1.50.

Michael Trizano (1.43) v Lucas Almeida (2.80) (Featherweight)

A calculated worker against a predatory finisher. All three of Trizano’s triumphs inside the Octagon and five of his nine career wins are by decision, while Almeida has earned style points by securing all 13 of his wins by stoppage, eight of them by knockout. 

Almeida’s untested, though, and when one looks at how he handled his big shot on the Dana White Contender Series last September – suffering his first career loss against Daniel Zellhuber – he looks like a regional killer in need of further development heading into his UFC debut.  

Trizano, who won season 27 of The Ultimate Fighter, is a proven commodity with the next-level seasoning Almeida’s lacking, so look to him to pick up a decision win.

Prediction: Trizano via decision.

Best Bet: Trizano by decision at 2.10.

Alternative Bet: Trizano at 1.43.

Karine Silva (1.83) v Poliana Botelho (2.00) (-105) (Flyweight)

This all-Brazilian battle looks very much like a launchpad in disguise for dangerous debutant Silva (14-4). Her moniker “Killer” is certainly apt as all of her wins are finishes (nine knockouts and five submissions). 

Botelho (8-2), who boasts six knockouts, won’t back down but her best days are behind her. She’s coming off back-to-back defeats and has lost three of her last four. 

She has a good chin, though, so Silva will either maintain her 100% finish rate by submission or win on points and with the former paying out big, it’s a peach of a prop bet. 

Prediction: Silva via submission.

Best Bet: Silva at 1.83.

Alternative Bet: Silva by submission at 6.00.

Alonzo Menifield (1.58) v Askar Mozharov (2.35) (Light Heavyweight)

These two 205-pound tanks aren’t competitors looking to outpoint one another. They’re raging bulls who throw everything at full force and with evil intentions.

That shared aggression has seen Menifield seal 10 of his 11 wins by stoppage, eight by knockout and eight in the first round, while Mozharov (21-7) boasts 13 first-round finishes and 19 stoppages overall, including 13 knockouts.

Elite-level experience will play a major factor in this slugfest as well. Menifield is a tenured UFC talent with a win over Paul Craig, who’s currently ranked eighth, while his Ukrainian opponent is making his promotional debut.  

In a fire-fight seemingly destined to finish inside the distance, inches and milliseconds matter and Menifield’s familiarity with the bright lights and Octagon surface should see him beat “No Mercy” to the punch. 

Prediction: Menifield via knockout.

Best Bet: Menifield at 1.58.

Alternative Bet: Menifield by KO/TKO/DQ at 2.10.

Felice Herrig (1.83) v Karolina Kowalkiewicz (2.00) (Strawweight)

Two stalwarts of the strawweight division run it back four years after their maiden meeting in what could be the loser’s UFC swansong as both are on lengthy losing streaks.

Kowalkiewicz (12-7) hasn’t tasted victory since her split decision win over Herrig (14-9) in 2018, while the latter’s last win dates back to 2017. 

Neither’s been active but Kowalkiewicz at least fought once last year, whereas the last time “Lil Bulldog” stepped into the Octagon was August 2020.

Add the fact that as veterans on the brink of retirement they’re set in their ways, and history looks set to repeat itself.

Prediction: Kowalkiewicz via decision.

Best Bet: Kowalkiewicz at 2.00. 

Alternative Bet: Kowalkiewicz via decision at 2.65.

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Author: editor

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