Photo Credit: MMAmania.com via Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

*This was originally posted June 5, 2022*

On a night full of UFC debuts, a couple of newcomers made HUGE statements. On the main card, Lucas Almeida finished Mike Trizano while DWCS alum. Karine Silva finished Poliana Botelho with an unbelievable 1st Round D’Arce choke. In the prelims, another newcomer, Rinat Fakhretdinov, put the entire division on notice with his unstoppable wrestling. We were also treated to sensational finishes from Alonzo Menifield, Ode Osbourne and Tony Gravely. Not to be outdone, two UFC veterans, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Alexander Volkov grabbed VERY impressive finishes, showing everyone that they’ve still got a long way to go before they hang up their gloves. All of the bouts from UFC Vegas 57 are covered below along with BLÜ’s favourite performances of the night: the BLÜ BONUSES.

Prelim. Action

Fight #1

BLÜ’s Prelim. Pick #1

Erin Blanchfield vs. JJ Aldrich

Both of these women represent the future of the women in the UFC. Only two fights into her UFC career and Blanchfield was 2-0 with two DOMINANT wins before this fight. Maverick was looking like an unstoppable force in the division until Blanchfield came in and completely dominated the grappler on the ground. Aldrich is slightly older than Erin, sitting at 29 years old, but has an extensive UFC resume with a record of 7-3 going into this matchup. Her last 3 fights have all been decision wins over other fairly impressive flyweights in Cortney Casey, Vanessa Demopoulos and Gillian Robertson. Unlike most women’s bouts in the UFC, this one seemed like it was going to be a blowout. Although Aldrich is good, Blanchfield has looked so dominant that she could get a title shot before she turns 25. She pushes the pace, has good standup and is one of the best wrestlers I’ve seen recently in women’s MMA. I said she should be able to get Aldrich down fairly easily and wear her down to the point that she may be able to get her first UFC finish.

BLÜ’s Prediction

Blanchfield by Finish

Aldrich was the one pressuring early, trying to pick Blanchfield apart at a distance, even pushing her along the fence for a few seconds. Interestingly, JJ was the one trying to take the fight to the ground first against the grappler Blanchfield. After a couple of minutes, Erin got the fight into a clinch along the fence, but couldn’t quite get it to the ground. With a couple of minutes left in the round, Aldrich managed to drag Erin to the ground, but Blanchfield got back up fairly quickly. In hopes of stealing the round back, Blanchfield tried to grab a takedown herself but was shut down. With a HUGE first round, one of the biggest underdogs of the night, Aldrich, found herself up 1-0 on the cards. Listening to the advice of her corner, Erin pressured forward at the start of the 2nd Round but was met with more HEAVY clinch work from JJ. Finally, Erin managed to get her first big moment of the fight after she clipped JJ and stumbled on her. That was all it took as Blanchfield jumped right on JJ, dragged her into the fence and grabbed her neck in a standing guillotine. Aldrich just couldn’t fight her hands and was forced to tap in the 2nd Round after a pretty impressive opening round.

Result

Erin Blanchfield def. JJ Aldrich by Submission in the 2nd Round

The Future

I was right about Erin getting a finish, but she struggled more than I thought with JJ’s size. I would say that that’s more a testament to how good JJ is rather than a knock on Blanchfield. Considering the state of the lower half of the flyweight rankings, I still firmly believe she could beat most of the women from 7-15. She mentioned fighting the winner of Maycee Barber’s next fight and I’d say that’s the right move; in fact, that’s exactly what I said after Erin’s last win.

Fight #2

Rinat Fakhretdinov def. Andreas Michailidis by Unanimous Decision

Fakhretdinov was the one pressuring early, hitting Michailidis with a BIG shot early. From there he got the fight going straight where he wanted it, launching Michailidis into the fence. From there, Fakhretdinov dragged him to the ground multiple times, really showing his incredible wrestling and grappling. As the round went on, Andreas was doing better at defending, but Fakhretdinov was clearly still in control of the action. The 2nd Round started even better for Fakhretdinov, running straight at Michailidis and dragging him down to the ground. With over 3 minutes of smothering wrestling, Fakhretdinov managed to move up into full top control and started working towards a submission. Michailidis managed to get up with 30 seconds left, but it was a CLEAR round for his opponent on the cards, finding himself down 2-0 on the cards. Michailidis tried to get some striking going at the start of the closing round, but made a critical mistake, getting dragged to the ground after an ill-advised takedown attempt. From there it was just a matter of Fakhretdinov burning out the clock. Overall, just an incredible UFC debut by Fakhretdinov, really putting the division on notice.

Fight #3

BLÜ’s Prelim. Pick #2

Jeff Molina vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov

This was likely the closest matchup of the night and seemed guaranteed to produce an explosive brawl. Since grabbing his UFC contract on the Contender Series, Molina has been flawless with an impressive pair of wins over Aoriqileng and Daniel da Silva. Zhumagulov doesn’t have a great record, sitting at 1-3 in the UFC, but all 3 losses were to ranked opponents: Paiva, Albazi and Kape. They both love striking, but Zhalgas has shown impressive grappling skills: he’s got a standing guillotine in the UFC. Molina was controlled in most of the grappling exchanges he’s had. Normally, Molina can close that gap with his striking, but Zhumagulov ALSO has fantastic striking. He may have been finished by Kape in his last fight, but Zhalgas stumbled him, he’s incredibly tough and he moves a LOT. With all the movement and skills of Zhalgas, I thought Molina would struggle to keep up and would lose in a close decision.

BLÜ’s Prediction

Zhumagulov by Decision

Molina was the one pushing the pace early, walking forward and landing a couple of early combos. Zhalgas made a statement after that though, landing a BOMB to stun Molina a bit. From there, Zhalgas got his own game plan going, pinning Jeff along the fence, trying to drag the fight to the ground. After some HEAVY work in the clinch from Zhalgas for over half the round, Molina finally got out of it and moved back to his striking. Sadly for him, all of that clinching likely gave the round to Zhumagulov. Zhumagulov started the action himself this time, landing some combos. Molina tried to respond with some kicks, but Zhalgas caught one of them and used it to get his grappling going once again. It took him a couple of minutes, but Molina finally go out of the clinch and got his own action going. He was doing well with his striking, but Zhalgas landed the biggest strike of the round, stumbling Molina and using that to drag the fight to the ground again. It was close, but you’d have to imagine that all of the grappling and that big punch from Zhalgas put him up 2-0 or 1-1 at worst. Knowing he needed to make a move, Molina started to pressure early with his striking in the final round but didn’t really land too much of significance. After taking it easy at the start of the round, Zhalgas started to land a couple of big shots and closed out the round with some more grappling. For me though, I’d have said it was a bit too late and Molina may have taken the final round. It was a VERY close fight, but thanks to all that grappling and a couple of significant moments on the feet, I gave Zhalgas the win 29-28. The judges were split, scoring it 29-28, 28-29… and 30-27 for Molina. I hate to keep saying this… but something needs to be done. It would be somewhat reasonable to give Molina the fight 29-28, but 30-27 is absurd.

Result

Jeff Molina def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov by Split Decision

Fight #4

Tony Gravely def. Johnny Munoz Jr. by TKO in the 1st Round

Both men were slow to start, respecting the power of each other, but the fight was done as soon as it started, with Munoz getting SMOKED by a BOMB from Gravely. He just didn’t see the uppercut coming and was dropped, where Gravely just jumped on with ground and pound to finish off the fight early in the 1st Round.

Fight #5

Benoit Saint-Denis def. Niklas Stolze by Submission in the 2nd Round

Saint-Denis was the one pressuring early, landing some combos and shooting for a takedown. He got hit by a huge knee from Stolze, but dragged the fight to the ground early and started to smother him with the wrestling. After a break from an accidental groin strike, Saint-Denis drove Stolze back into the fence and kept up his dominance on the ground. From there he started to really fight for a submission. He got one in VERY deep, but, lucky for Stolze, the bell saved him from the rear-naked choke. Stolze got a DEEP submission attempt of his own to open the round, but Saint-Denis got out of it and used the position to drag Stolze to the ground again. From there he took the back, went back onto Stolze’s neck and made him tap to a DEEP rear-naked choke.

Fight #6

Damon Jackson def. Daniel Argueta by Unanimous Decision

Wasting absolutely no time, Jackson ran straight in and got a MASSIVE takedown less than 30 seconds into the fight. Immediately, he took them back and started to work for the submission. With about 30 seconds left in the round, Argueta finally regained control, but with 4 minutes of DOMINANT control, Jackson was clearly up 1-0 on the cards. Argueta was the one who tried to get the action going early this time, but Jackson quickly regained control and moved the fight to the ground once again and took Argueta’s back. It should be said that Argueta was doing well to fight off the submissions of Jackson, but he was absolutely relentless with his control. Once again, Argueta freed himself with 30 seconds left, but it was way too late to steal the momentum of the round. Once again, Argueta came in HEAVY with his striking, stumbling Jackson with a MASSIVE shot. Things started to get concerning for Jackson, getting lit up on the feet. That’s when Argueta made a crucial mistake, he went in for a takedown and Jackson reversed him to find himself on top. From there it was Jackson controlling the action with his wrestling for the rest of the round. With all those huge strikes from Argueta, the judges may have given him the final round, but it was still a clear win for Jackson on the cards. The judges agreed, scoring it 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for Jackson.

Fight #7

Joe Solecki def. Alex da Silva by Majority Decision

Both men ran straight into the striking, but it was da Silva who landed first, dropping Solecki with a HUGE hook. Solecki was fighting hard to either get up or set up a submission, but da Silva was doing very well to keep him on the ground and stay in the dominant position. Eventually, Solecki managed to slip into a good position and sink into a guillotine. It got pretty tight, but da Silva slipped out of it and went back into top position. Solecki was the one who pushed the action in the 2nd Round, shooting in for an early takedown and pushing da Silva into the fence. From there he took his back and started to work for a submission. Solecki had his submission on and under the chin multiple times, but da Silva was fighting VERY hard to get out of it each time. Sadly, because of a BUNCH of toes into the fence and glove grabbing, the ref was forced to take a point from da Silva, essentially making it impossible for him to win a decision. Knowing he needed a finish, da Silva pushed forward with his striking. He was doing well, but Solecki grabbed the clinch and dragged the fight to the ground. From there, da Silva got up and moved back to striking. Thanks to all of the striking and control time, Da Silva won the 2nd Round and was likely up 2-1 in the rounds, BUT, because of the point deduction, a draw or a win for Solecki seemed like the obvious result. The judges scored the fight 28-28, 28-27 and 29-27 for Solecki.

Fight #8

BLÜ’s Prelim. Pick #3

Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Originally scheduled to open up the main card, the prelims were closed out by two of the earliest female additions to the UFC, Felice Herrig and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Herrig did well early in her UFC career, but since losing to Kowalkiewicz in their first meeting in 2018, she lost a decision to Waterson and by a BRUTAL 1st Round submission from Jandiroba. Thanks to that 3 fight losing streak, she hasn’t won since her tight, split decision victory over Cortney Casey in 2017. Kowalkiewicz has also struggled recently with 5 losses in a row with her last win coming, funny enough, over Felice Herrig. That being said, she’s been slightly more active with losses to Andrade, Waterson, Grasso, Yan and Penne. As with most women’s fights, especially when you’ve got 2 veterans on losing streaks near the end of their careers, this one could have gone either way. Despite that, there were still a few factors that pushed the momentum in one direction. Kowalkiewicz, although she had lost 5 in a row, had been more active and put up a decent performance in a decision 2 years ago against Yan who was just as dangerous then as she is now. The biggest factor was their last encounter; Kowalkiewicz used her grappling and better striking to control Herrig. We knew they’d likely both be slightly slower and weaker than in their first encounter, but thanks to Karolina’s extra activity and the advantages that won her the decision in their first encounter, I figured she’d edge the decision here as well.

BLÜ’s Prediction

Kowalkiewicz by Decision

Kowalkiewicz was pressuring early, landing some early combos, but Herrig was quick to respond with some combos of her own. As the round went on, both ladies started to let their hands go. From there, Kowalkiewicz was the one who finally stole the momentum of the fight. She pushed Herrig into the fence and started to get her grappling going. With all the work in the clinch and the extra strikes, it seemed clear that Kowalkiewicz won the opening round. Just like the opening round, the ladies let loose some wild combos to open the round, this time Herrig landing the better shots. Herrig tried to get her first takedown of the fight but was quickly reversed by Kowalkiewicz. From there, she took Herrig’s back and locked her in a DEEP rear-naked choke. Herrig got out of it, but Kowalkiewicz was still on her back and working hard for a finish. After some heavy ground and pound, Kowalkiewicz slipped in another deep submission attempt and finally locked it in. With that, she broke her 5 fight losing streak and got her first finish all the way back in 2014 in KSW. After the fight, as somewhat expected, Herrig took off her gloves and put them on the canvas, signifying the end of her MMA career.

Result

Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Felice Herrig by Submission in the 2nd Round

Main Card Action

Fight #9

Alonzo Menifield vs. Askar Mozharov

In the first of THREE UFC debuts on the main card, Mozharov made his first walk to Octagon to face an absolute beast in Alonzo Menifield. Since grabbing an 8-second TKO win on the Contender Series in 2018, Menifield has been pretty even in his UFC career with a record of 4-3 with three 1st Round finishes and losses to top contenders Devin Clark, OSP and William Knight. Originally, it was thought that Mozharov had a lengthy MMA resume with a record of 25-7, but, for the first time that I’ve seen in the UFC, his record was investigated this week and changed to 19-12 after it was revealed he was faking results. All that aside, in the leadup, I had pointed out that, like many similar fighters, most of his MANY 1st Round finishes had come over fighters with almost no MMA experience in promotions that most people have never heard of. In fact, the only MMA performance he had recently in a recognizable promotion was a 1st Round TKO loss in Titan FC. At Titan FC just a couple of years ago he lost to a light heavyweight who was a smaller man. Torres controlled Mozharov on the ground and finished him in the 1st Round by TKO. Being that Menifield has decent wrestling (that he showed by occasionally out-grappling the MASSIVE William Knight) and HUGE power, it seemed unlikely that Mozharov would be able to withstand his offence for much longer than a round.

BLÜ’s Prediction

Menifield by Finish

Menifield wasted absolutely no time, SMOKED Mozharov with a big one and used that to drag him to the canvas in less than 30 seconds. Menifield didn’t seem to be threatening much of a finish on the ground, but was VERY dominant, smothering Mozharov. Sadly, Menifield made a mistake, leading to Mozharov getting back to his feet… but he quickly recovered, dragging Mozharov back down. This time it was just too much; Alonzo moved into a crucifix position and let loose some absolute BOMBS until the ref was forced to stop the fight.

Result

Alonzo Menifield def. Askar Mozharov by TKO in the 1st Round

Fight #10

Ode Osbourne vs. Zarrukh Adashev

This flyweight matchup wasn’t as important (in terms of rankings) as the last one, but it still looked like it was going to be a fast-paced brawl between two exciting fighters. Osbourne snagged his UFC contract on DWCS back in 2019 and had an even record in the UFC at 2-2. His record may not sound impressive, but his losses came to Kelleher, who’s a bantamweight now, and Kape, who’s the fastest rising contender in the division. Adashev is also fairly new to the UFC with a 1-2 record and, interestingly, an overall record of 4-3. He opened his UFC stint with losses to Tyson Nam and Sumudaerji but turned it around with an impressive win over Ryan Benoit. These men are similar in that they’re both better than their records suggest. They’ve both got great skills, but Osbourne seemed to edge ahead by the slightest bit. He’s VERY quick, and has great striking and decent grappling, while Adashev is slower and struggled with the length of Sumudaerji. Since Osbourne is the same length as Sumudaerji and likely has even better striking skills than him, I predicted that Adashev would struggle with his striking.

BLÜ’s Prediction

Osbourne by Decision

As expected, these two let loose early with the fireworks. Before the fight even started to heat up though, Osbourne clipped Adashev with a ROCKET to drop him. From there it was just a formality as Osbourne let loose the ground and pound to knock Adashev out cold with a QUICK 1st Round KO.

Result

Ode Osbourne def. Zarrukh Adashev by KO in the 1st Round

The Future

Honestly, I’d say that Osbourne is already capable of being in the top 15, especially if he’s matched up with someone like Elliott, Shnell or Sumudaerji, but in his post-fight interview, he mentioned he’d like to take on Molina from earlier in the card. I’d say that’s an easy matchup… especially considering Molina was saved by a couple of judges on the cards. It’s still an interesting matchup that’d be VERY entertaining, but I’d rather see him get a shot at the top 15.

Fight #11

Poliana Botelho vs. Karine Silva

Botelho had a promising start to her career, opening with a record of 3-1, but dropped her last two with decision losses to Robertson and Luana Carolina. Karine Silva is MUCH less experienced, making her first UFC appearance in this one. Some UFC fans will recognize her from her impressive performance on the Contender Series late last year. This was a battle of styles. You’ve got primarily a striker in Botelho and a VERY good wrestler in Karine Silva. Although I believed Botelho may have edged the win in her split decision loss to Luana Carolina, it was clear that she struggled against someone larger who can wrestle. Silva showed that she’s got incredible wrestling that would stack up in the UFC, she’s also very quick and fairly large. Given all those problems that Botelho had with Carolina and Robertson, it seemed like the wrestler, Silva, would control the fight and win on the cards.

BLÜ’s Prediction

Silva by Decision

Although Botelho is large, Silva held a clear size advantage in this matchup. They were a bit hesitant to start, but Botelho, being the more experienced fighter, was getting more of her strikes out there, trying to edge ahead on the cards. Finally, after taking the start of the round easy, Silva switched gears and RAN into Botelho and slammed her to the ground. Turning into an absolute animal, she smashed Botelho with some HEAVY ground and pound, then switched into a submission attempt. Essentially folding Botelho in half, Silva got her into a DEEP D’Arce choke and squeezed until she had no choice but to tap, giving Silva an incredible 1st Round finish in her debut.

Result

Karine Silva def. Poliana Botelho by Submission in the 1st Round

The Future

Much like Erin Blanchfield, Silva is very much the future of the flyweight division; she’s fast, a good striker and an incredible grappler. I don’t know if you could throw her into a top 15 matchup right away, but that’s the direction she’s headed in. Someone on the edge of the rankings, someone like Maverick, Robertson or Aldrich who we just talked about may be the way to go.

Fight #12

Mike Trizano vs. Lucas Almeida

Just like the last two fights, we’ve got someone making their UFC debut. Like Mozharov, Almeida didn’t get his contract from the Contender Series, in fact, he lost on his DWCS appearance last September. Other than that, he’s been flawless with 13 finishes in his 13-1 record. Trizano made his UFC debut after winning Season 27 of TUF. Since then he had some hard-fought wins against Luis Pena and Ludovit Klein and losses to Grant Dawson and Hakeem Dawodu. I thought this one was gonna be a striker’s delight. I said this should be an exciting battle that would likely end in a decision. That being said, with all the experience of Trizano, it seemed like he’d edge ahead by the end. Trizano is a pretty large striker and his skill was evident in his last fight against another impressive striker in Dawodu. He’s also a decent grappler that could have posed problems for Almeida. You combine that with Almeida’s lacklustre cardio and weakness in the clinch, and it seemed like Trizano held the edge.

BLÜ’s Prediction

Trizano by Decision

Both guys were trying to pressure forward, but it was Almeida landing the better strikes early. In response to Almeida’s striking, Trizano moved into some heavy clinch work along the fence. Almeida struggled with the clinch, but got out of it and landed a HUGE combo, forcing Trizano to shoot in for another clinch. It was looking like Almeida was going to clinch the 1st Round on the cards thanks to his striking… until Trizano SMOKED him with a knee, letting him fall on his back on the canvas. Amazingly, he still managed to survive the round but lost the round on the cards. With all the confidence from the opening round, Trizano pressured forward early in the 2nd Round but was continuously met with a barrage of strikes from Almeida. Then it was Almeida who stole the momentum, grabbing a knockdown of his own, dropping Trizano to the ground and jumping on top of him. Unfortunately, after an accidental clash of heads, Trizano was leaking blood all over the place and seemed to struggle with it. After a WILD comeback round, the fight was tied at 1-1 going into the third. They started the final round even, but ultimately it was Almeida who landed first, dropping Trizano and finishing him on the ground with some hellish ground and pound.

Result

Lucas Almeida def. Mike Trizano by TKO in the 3rd Round

Co-Main Event

Dan Ige vs. Movsar Evloev

This one was one of the most exciting matchups of the night and could have ended up being an easy pick for Brawl of the Night. Dan Ige was ranked 10th after his recent losses to Emmett and the Korean Zombie. He got his spot in the rankings with VERY impressive performances against Mirsad Bektic and the legendary Edson Barboza. Evloev only had 5 fights in the UFC, but he held his perfect record together at 15-0 heading into this one. His most recent wins came from dominant wrestling performances over Grundy, Lentz and Dawodu. This fight seemed a lot closer than the odds suggested. Ige’s standup is fantastic and he could have landed something big that stumbled Evloev, but the difference-maker here was clearly Evloev’s wrestling. Ige struggled a LOT with the wrestling of the Korean Zombie and a little bit with Emmett. Considering both men are extremely durable and have endless gas tanks, it seemed like this fight would last the full 3 rounds. I predicted Ige would probably land some great combos, but that Evloev would be able to control the action on the ground to win on the cards.

BLÜ’s Prediction

Evloev by Decision

Ige made the first move, lighting up Evloev with a fantastic combo, possibly stumbling him a bit. From there though, it seemed to be Evloev with the crisper striking, with him even landing a MASSIVE flying knee that ROCKED Ige. Worried about the striking, Ige took his mind off of Evloev’s wrestling threat and was slammed to the ground a couple of times in a row. The 2nd Round opened with some more crisp striking from both sides, but Evloev landed another HUGE flying knee to put Ige back on his heels. Amazingly, Ige was landing some big shots and combos, but Evloev didn’t even seem to acknowledge any of the power coming back at him. In response to the striking though, Evloev decided to bring the fight back down to the ground and split Ige open to solidify the round on the cards. Knowing Ige was going to try and steal the fight with his striking, Evloev immediately dragged the fight to the ground in the final round. Ige was making it difficult for him, but Evloev was smothering him along the fence and on the ground. With 30 seconds left in the fight, Ige got up but was quickly dragged down once again, clearly losing the fight 3-0 on the cards. The judges agreed, scoring it 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27 for Evloev.

Result

Movsar Evloev def. Dan Ige by Unanimous Decision

The Future

Like everyone else, I was expecting a wrestling-heavy approach from Evloev considering his background and Ige’s history. That being said, it may have been a smart move; now everyone knows that he’s not just an incredible wrestler, he’s a THREAT on the feet as well. He still secured each round with some wrestling but did some real damage to the striker, Ige, on the feet. He’s so extremely talented that I could easily see him having close wins over someone like Kattar, the Korean Zombie and Emmett, but he’s challenged someone even better. He wants to take on Arnold Allen in LONDON which is less than two months away! A bold, bold move, but he’s so well-rounded that it could be a move that gives him a title shot within the next year.

Main Event

Alexander Volkov vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik

We closed out the night with a HUGE fight between two top-ranked, heavyweight brawlers. After a devastating 1st Round loss to Aspinall in London just a couple of months ago, Volkov fell to 7th in the rankings. Ever since his debut, he’s been fighting the best of the best with wins over Struve, Werdum, Hardy, Harris, Tybura and Overeem and losses to Lewis, Blaydes and Gane. Rozenstruik is slightly newer to the UFC but has made a HUGE impact in the division with wins over Arlovski, JDS, Sakai and Overeem. His only losses have come at the top of the division against N’Gannou, Gane and Blaydes. Since this was at heavyweight, a finish could have happened at any moment, especially since both men prefer to strike. Volkov seems to struggle early in fights where the fighter pressures like Rozenstruik, but he’s always been great at shutting down the offence of strikers… except for Derrick Lewis. Since they both fought Overeem recently, it seemed like a fair point of comparison. Jairzinho struggled a bit with Overeem’s wrestling but picked him apart on the feet slowly over the 5 rounds. Volkov came in, walked forward for most of the fight and finished him in the 2nd Round. I predicted Rozenstruik would likely come in pretty aggressive in the opening round or two, but that his cardio would likely let him down, especially considering Volkov’s incredible stamina. They’re both ridiculously tough and I predicted a close, entertaining fight, but it seemed like Volkov would edge ahead in a tight decision.

BLÜ’s Prediction

Volkov by Decision

Unlike many heavyweight fights, both men were starting to push the pace early. Volkov was the busier striker, landing kicks and punches from a distance. It was Rozenstruik who landed a big one first; he landed a HUGE shot and got a little reckless, running straight at Volkov. Volkov responded well with a quick elbow to back him up. From there, Volkov decided to get one back, SMOKING him with a couple of big ones until Rozenstruik was melting along the fence. Volkov poured on the pressure until the ref was forced to step in and end the fight, giving Volkov an incredible 1st Round TKO win.

Result

Alexander Volkov def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik by TKO in the 1st Round

The Future

The heavyweight division is tough because most of the top contenders are already set to fight. In the press conference, Volkov was asked about a rematch with Lewis. He seemed to be a little uninterested, but I think that’s likely the best way to go. He can then prove that the loss was a fluke, plus it sorts out the true top 5. Rozenstruik is still a top contender but struggles with HUGE strikers. He’ll likely be used as a gatekeeper to the top 10 and should do a fantastic job in that role.

BLÜ’s Record for the Night

Prelims: 2-1

Blanchfield (W)

Zhumagulov (L)

Kowalkiewicz(W)

Main Card: 5-1

Menifield (W)

Osbourne (W)

Silva (W)

Trizano (L)

Evloev (W)

Volkov (W)

BLÜ BONUSES

KO of the Night: Ode Osbourne

Sub. of the Night: Karine Silva

Brawl of the Night: Mike Trizano vs. Lucas Almeida

Most Valuable Fighter

Karolina Kowalkiewicz

Headed into this fight, she had lost 5 in a row and hadn’t had a finish since 2014. She turned it around in this one with a fantastic performance, breaking her losing streak and… somewhat unbelievably, grabbing her FIRST finish in her lengthy UFC career.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.