UFC Fight Night Volkov vs. Rozenstruik

It’s back to the UFC APEX with the world’s biggest promotion this Saturday night as yet another heavyweight contender bout headlines a UFC Fight Night event. This time, Russian Alexander Volkov takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik over five five-minute rounds.

Having gone a perfect 10-0 to begin his career Rozenstruik is now 2-3 in his last five outings. Being bettered by Francis Ngannou, Ciryl Gane and Curtis Blaydes is no shame, but has, for the meantime at least, pigeonholed him as your latest mid-tier heavyweight who isn’t going upwards or downwards. 

His style of as safe as you can get as a 265 lbs MMA behemoth. He fights from the outside with irregular treks into range. The early career danger posed with his hands seems to have dwindled with better competition but, still young in his career, there’s hope. IF he can let those hands go, IF he can start knocking guys out regularly – Jairzinho Rozenstruik may rise again. 

That starts this Saturday night against Alexander Volkov. 

The Russian is about as different a fighter as possible when held in comparison with this week’s foe. Instead of a smaller, squat low-volume boxer you have, when referring to Volkov, a long, rangey, high-volume kickboxer. The defence is a big difference too. Volkov gets hit plenty, and at heavyweight that isn’t good – needless to say. However, he is a -165 favorite to win against Rozenstruik who is currently listed at as a +140 underdog. It doesn’t matter which sportsbook, they all agree that the Russian has a better chance of coming out as the winner but those who are planning on betting against him should do so with caution. There is an active new user promo code for first timers so that would definitely help for those who are betting on Rozenstruik this weekend. If you lose, at least you get your money back in credits.

Saturday will be Volkov’s 45th MMA fight, and to only lose 10 of them isn’t really bad at all. The issue is, like Rozenstruik, his recent losses have come to fellow contenders Tom Aspinall, Derrick Lewis, Curtis Blaydes and Ciryl Gane.

A win here is imperative for both men because, simply put, a loss – and more specifically a loss to ANOTHER fellow contender – is an absolute disaster for their medium term title hopes. 

Range will be a massive factor here, and not necessarily differences in range. Rozenstruik and Volkov like to fight outside of a length – despite their opposite frames. The lanky Volkov will try to kick and jab from the outside while Rozenstruik will use that distance as a safe-haven to escape damage after he inflicts some. 

This fight will come down to how much damage Rozenstruik lands when coming in, and how much he can avoid while on the outside. If we look at recent fights, something is going to have to change if Rozenstruik tips that balance. He will have to make Volkov pay, or else he’ll be picked off and probably lose a decision.

Can he let the hands go and get a KO? Time will tell. 

See the full fight card below. 

Alexander Volkov vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Dan Ige vs. Movsar Evloev
Poliana Botelho vs. Karine Silva
Zhalgas Zhumagulov vs. Jeff Molina
Zarrukh Adashev vs. Ode’ Osbourne
Andreas Michailidis vs. Rinat Fakhretdinov
Erin Blanchfield vs. JJ Aldrich
Michael Trizano vs. Lucas Almeida
Damon Jackson vs. Darrick Minner
Alex da Silva Coelho vs. Joe Solecki
Alonzo Menifield vs. Askar Mozharov
Tony Gravely vs. Johnny Munoz Jr.
Benoît Saint-Denis vs. Niklas Stolze

Podcaster, lead MMA writer and analyst for SevereMMA. Host of the SevereMMA podcast, out every Sunday. Economics and Mathematics graduate from UCC. Also write for Sherdog. Previously of hov-mma and fightbooth. As heard on 2FM, Red FM, Today FM and more. Follow me on twitter for updates @SeanSheehanBA and on Facebook Facebook.com/seansheehanmma