There were plenty of finishes and exciting fights at UFC Vegas 56 on Saturday. Alonzo Menifield, Ode Osbourne, and Karine Silva all picked up opening round stoppages to begin the main card, then Lucas Almeida put away Mike Trizano in the most back-and-forth entertaining battle of the afternoon. In the co-main event, Movsar Evloev made a major statement in the featherweight division with his shutout win over Dan Ige. To cap off the card, heavyweight contender Alexander Volkov got back in the win column with a quick finish of the powerful Jairzinho Rozenstruik. It’s not just a much-needed victory for ‘Drago,’ it’s his first opening round finish since Attila Vegh in M-1 back in 2016. For Rozenstruik it’s two straight losses and now it’s a long way back to title contention for him.
Here’s how the fights played out.
Alexander Volkov def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik by TKO (punches) at 2:12 of Round 1 - Heavyweights
Kicks were exchanged frequently to begin the main event. Two left hooks by Rozenstruik caught Volkov after he caught a kick, but Volkov showed a good chin and then retaliated with a massive straight right that rocked the Surinamese standout. The mouthpiece went flying as Rozenstruik’s knees buckled, and the Russian poured on the volume of punches that led to Herb Dean intervening. A bit of an oddly timed stoppage but in the moment you could tell that Rozenstruik was definitely hurt and not really doing anything in response to get out of a bad situation.
Movsar Evloev def. Dan Ige by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) - Men’s Featherweights
There wasn’t much of a feel-out process in the co-main event. There was every intent to land a KO shot early and both guys connected one some hard blows. A counter flying knee stunned Ige but amazingly he stayed upright. Evloev scored a takedown and then took him down again after Ige grabbed the fence. Movsar was the one who disengaged from the ground work and they resumed striking for the rest of round one, with Evloev making the early statement.
Ige kept searching for big power shots while Evloev worked on the counter, and he got in another flying knee that landed more on the chest than the head. The Hawaiian landed a couple of low kicks and did get in a right hand, but Evloev’s success noticeably marked up Ige’s face. Just as Ige was gaining some momentum in Round 2, Evloev took Ige to the mat with a clever level change. A slicing elbow bothered Ige and made blood streak down his face even more.
Evloev’s pace wore Ige down and the physicality and proficiency of his wrestling just took over in the final round. Try as Ige might to scramble or throw up a submission or get to his feet, it was a round dominated by Evloev’s ground control, mixed in with some effective strikes to prevent a stand-up. By the time Ige did stand back up there was only 30 seconds left in the fight and, you better believe it, he got taken down one more time. Evloev remains unbeaten in his career and the former M-1 champ will likely be ranked in the top-10 after defeating #10 ranked Ige.
Lucas Almeida def. Michael Trizano by TKO (punches) at :55 of Round 3 - Men’s Featherweights
Almeida was outstriking Trizano for much of Round 1, but Trizano turned the tables on him dramatically with a left hook that turned his legs into jelly. A knee followed and Almeida went down and the only good news for him was that he survived, but it certainly cost him the round.
Both men landed good shots on each other but Almeida was connecting more cleanly and sure enough a left hook sat Trizano down. A knockdown apiece but Almeida had a lot more time to work with to get the finish while on the mat. Unfortunately an accidental clash of heads on the ground opened up a big cut on Trizano above his right eye. Blood was gushing profusely in the final minute of the second round, but Trizano did well to eventually get to his feet. The referee stopped the fight to take a closer look at the cut, and it did not warrant a stoppage. Great action between these two!
Trizano’s cut didn’t really stop bleeding even with the work done by the cutman in between rounds. Almeida was having consistent success with his left hook and for a second time he decked Trizano with that punch. Several shots on the ground forced Trizano to turtle up and that was that. Great fight, great finish, and a great debut for Lucas Almeida.
Karine Silva def. Poliana Botelho by submission (D’arce choke) at 4:55 of Round 1 - Women’s Flyweights
There wasn’t a whole lot to separate these fighters through the first few minutes of the opening round, but Silva’s outstanding ability to finish fights would soon be on full display. A hard right hand cracked Botelho and at the same time Silva crashed forward to complete a takedown. When Botelho tried to scramble to her feet, Silva used that opportunity to secure a d’arce choke that was too tight for Botelho. Tap time and a debut win for Silva at the expense of her fellow Brazilian. That’s 15 wins and 15 finishes for Silva, with 10 of them in the opening round.
Ode Osbourne def. Zarrukh Adashev by KO (punches) at 1:01 of Round 1 - Men’s Flyweights
Well there isn’t a lot to recap here, is there? Adashev was loading up on big shots, but Osbourne had the answer in the form of a perfect counter lead right hand that floored Adashev. Osbourne pummeled Adashev with several more big punches and put him out cold for the KO! That’s Osbourne’s second KO win in the UFC and it’s his first at flyweight.
Alonzo Menifield def. Askar Mozharov by TKO (elbows) at 4:40 of Round 1 - Light Heavyweights
Menifield wasted no time taking the undefeated Mozharov down in the opening seconds. The twice-beaten Mozharov was stuck in a closed guard and really just stalling for time while seeking to minimize Menifield’s offense. It worked well enough when Mozharov, a winner of 10 out of his last 11, was able to get back to his feet and land a couple of shots. Unfortunately for Mozharov, who has lost his last four, his porous takedown defense was compromised and Menifield got him in a crucifix position and rained down a bunch of elbows until Herb Dean stepped in. A thorough beatdown of Mozharov, whose UFC run will likely end after just one fight and his record somewhere in the general range of 19-13 and 45-4.
Preliminary Card results
Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Felice Herrig by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:01 of Round 2
Joe Solecki def. Alex Da Silva by majority decision (28-28, 28-27, 29-27)
Damon Jackson def. Daniel Argueta by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Benoit Saint-Denis def. Niklas Stolze by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:32 of Round 2
Tony Gravely def. Johnny Munoz by KO (punches) at 1:08 of Round 1
Jeff Molina def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Rinat Fakhretdinov def. Andreas Michailidis by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Erin Blanchfield def. JJ Aldrich by submission (standing guillotine) at 2:38 of Round 2