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UFC Vegas 56 Volkov vs. Rozenstruik Breakdown and Prediction

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After a weekend off due to the Memorial Day holiday, the world’s top MMA promotion is back in action with a Saturday matinee as the UFC returns to the UFC Apex for UFC Vegas 56 and the UFC Vegas 56 main event.

All told, UFC Vegas 56 will feature a 14-fight MMA card, highlighted by a top-10 showcase at heavyweight in the UFC Vegas 56 main event.

Volkov Battles Rozenstruik in UFC Vegas 56 Main Event Saturday Afternoon

No. 7 contender Alexander Volkov (34-10 MMA, 8-4 UFC) will meet No. 8 contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) on Saturday afternoon in the headlining bout.

As with all UFC headliners, Saturday’s UFC Vegas 56 main event will be an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.

One note about UFC Vegas 56 is that the card will have an earlier than normal starting time.

Undercard action from the UFC Apex will begin at 1 pm ET/ 10 am PT on ESPN+, with main card action following at 4 pm ET/ 1 pm PT over the subscription-based streaming service.

UFC Vegas 56 Main Event Fighter Comparison

Heading into Saturday afternoon’s headlining bout, Alexander Volkov is the taller man at 6-foot-7, compared to the 6-foot-2 frame of Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

Additionally, Volkov owns a two-inch reach advantage (80 inches to 78 inches) and a 6 1/2 inch (47 1/2 inches to 41 inches even) going into the UFC Vegas 56 main event on Saturday.

Alexander Volkov Fighting With a Heavy Heart in UFC Vegas 56 Main Event Saturday

Alexander Volkov enters the UFC Vegas 56 main event on Saturday afternoon having posted a record of 3-2 in his last five fights.

Back in March, he dropped a first-round submission via straight armbar versus Tom Aspinall during the UFC London main event at the O2 Arena.

For Volkov, along with many of his countrymen that evening, competing in or watching a fight was the furthest thing on their minds.

Weeks before UFC London was to take place, Volkov’s home country of Russia invaded the bordering nation of Ukraine in the latest chapter of the eight-year civil conflict between the two countries.

Ahead of that fight, he discussed the harrowing trip from his homeland and why withdrawing from UFC London never entered his mind.

“Even in hard times, you have to be professional, and I was professional doing everything from my part,” Volkov said through his translator. “Training, preparing, and getting here to make the fight for the fans and for the UFC, so I have to be professional in these circumstances.”

If the ongoing civil conflict in Volkov’s home country wasn’t enough in the run-up to the fight back in March, he was also waging a personal battle against COVID-19 this past winter, his second bout with the virus.

With his bout against the coronavirus in the rear-view mirror, Volkov, a veteran of and former heavyweight champion in Bellator MMA, now preps for the UFC Vegas 56 main event, but can he deliver a welcome distraction in the face of tragedy in his home country?

Jairzinho Rozenstruik Ready For a Quick Fight in UFC Vegas 56 Main Event

In the other corner, Jairzinho Rozenstruik has gone 2-3 in his last five fights ahead of the UFC Vegas 56 main event this coming weekend, dropping a unanimous decision against Curtis Blaydes last September during UFC 266.

Before being booked to the UFC Vegas 56 main event on Saturday afternoon, Rozenstruik had been linked to fight during the UFC 273 undercard on the evening of April 9 in Jacksonville against Marcin Tybura.

On the day of the weigh-ins, however, this fight, the second time that the UFC attempted to book Rozenstruik and Tybura for a contest, the latter fighter took ill, resulting in a postponement, despite Tybura making weight for the bout.

Before the postponed fight, Rozenstruik appeared as a guest on Just Scrap Radio, where he mentioned that his quickness often tells the tale in a fight.

“The knockout comes by itself,” Rozenstruik said. “I know I have it in my hands, and as soon as I start touching people, they have big problems. I’m going to be in shape and I feel really good going into this fight.”

Rozenstruik has confidence in himself, and he’s got the statistics to back it up, owning the second-quickest knockout victory in a UFC heavyweight fight– but can he back this up with a victory on Saturday?

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the UFC Vegas 56 main event on Saturday afternoon looks to favor Jairzinho Rozenstruik, a decorated kickboxing champion, compared to Alexander Volkov’s black belt in Tsu Shin Gen, along with brown belts in both Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Kyokushin Karate.

However, with this being a fight between two former champions, anything can happen, especially since these two men have scored a combined 34 knockouts between them.

Alexander Volkov Can Be Brutal With Strikes

One aspect of Alexander Volkov’s fight game that stands out on videotape is his ability to piece up his opponent with strikes to get the win, something that Walt Harris found out about firsthand in October of 2020 during UFC 254.

During the second round of a scheduled three, Volkov stuffed a Harris takedown attempt and kept his movement up to try to keep him guessing, eventually landing a kick to Harris’ stomach, leading to Harris to back himself up to the cage fence in pain.

Although Volkov followed it up by teeing off on Harris against the cage fence, the damage was already done and the referee waved off the fight slightly over a minute into the round.

If Volkov is able to land a brutal shot, the UFC Vegas 56 main event could be over rather quickly.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik Wastes No Time Ending a Fight

If there’s one constant regarding a fight involving Jairzinho Rozenstruik, it’s that he has been known to make quick work of his opposition, as Allen Crowder found out almost three years ago.

Right from the command to fight, Rozenstruik immediately knocked Crowder down with a punch, and it was just a formality from there, as he moved in on him, landing a brief but intense flurry of ground and pound shots, forcing the referee to call a quick halt to the fight.

Total time of the fight: A blistering nine seconds.

This fight between Rozenstruik and Crowder was the latter’s retirement fight.

If Rozenstruik is able to land a quick punch, he can end the UFC Vegas 56 main event in as little as one blow.

Final Thoughts

As with all fights at 265 lbs., the constant that just one punch or just one kick can end the UFC Vegas 56 main event may ring true again ahead of Saturday.

Just to be on the safe side, you might want to make that fridge run during a commercial break.

Prediction: Jairzinho Rozenstruik by First-Round TKO.

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