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UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai Review

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Tom Breese was forced to pull out of his bout against Antonio Arroyo due to an undisclosed medical issue. Because the cancellation was on such short notice, there was no time to schedule a replacement opponent for Arroyo.

Their fight was replaced on the main card by Montana De La Rosa vs. Ariene Lipske. As always, this week’s rendition of UFC Fight Night offered plenty of entertaining moments. Let’s get into it!

Montana De La Rosa vs. Ariene Lipske

De La Rosa enjoyed a noticeable height and reach advantage over her opponent. Lipske tried to close the gap but was unable to. De La Rosa used this as an opportunity to score an early takedown, after which she proceeded to ground and pound Lipske. This opened up an ugly cut over Lipske’s left eye that caused a lot of bleeding.

De La Rosa scored another takedown early in round two. She proceeded to pummel Lipske with strikes, rendering her defenseless. The referee was left with no choice but to stop the fight. This was a dominant overall performance for Montana and a very one-sided affair.

Dusko Todorovic vs. Gregory Rodrigues

Rodrigues attempted a takedown early in round one, but Todorovic was able to fight to his feet rather quickly. For the remainder of the round the two of them exchanged strikes, with Rodrigues landing at a higher frequency and with more accuracy.

In round two, Rodrigues again attempted a takedown, but it was clear Todorovic would not allow the fight to become a grappling match. He increased his activity in an attempt to be more aggressive, but his opponent displayed superior timing. At the end of two rounds, Rodrigues was clearly in the driver’s seat.

Surprisingly, round three was anticlimactic. It almost looked as if Todorovic was conceding the fight and Rodrigues was happy to coast to victory. Rodrigues was rewarded with a unanimous decision victory.

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs. Miguel Baeza

Both of these two men entered the octagon ready to fight. Because of their styles, this was billed as a potential fight of the night, and it did not disappoint.

Ponzinibbio started the fight off cautiously, which led to an early slip on the mat. Baeza took advantage of the opening and responding with a resounding calf kick, followed by a striking combo. However, Ponzinibbio refused to concede the round, responding with a couple of nice calf kicks and a striking combo of his own.

Early in round two, Baeza landed an overhand right that left Ponzinibbio visibly hurt. However, after gathering himself and getting his second wind, Ponzinibbio dominated the rest of the round. He landed an impressive high kick to the side of Baeza’s face and was able to connect on a knee and several calf kicks as well.

Round three was a gift to all mixed martial arts fans. Both fighters threw caution to the wind and let it all hang out. They traded punches with reckless abandon and seemed to forget that defense is an integral part of strategy. It was an offensive barrage from both fighters and one of the most entertaining rounds in recent memory.

Ponzinibbio’s intensity and aggression paid off; he was awarded a unanimous decision victory. However, it was clear that Baeza is a very talented prospect and is worth keeping an eye on. He has the talent to be a champion in the division one day. Whether or not he accomplishes that all depends on how he processes a loss and his motivation to bounce back.

Roman Dolidze vs. Laureano Staropoli

This was the polar opposite of Ponzinibbio vs. Baez. Both fighters were extremely cautious, and the fight was not entertaining. These two men did themselves a disservice; it will be a while before they are part of another main card. UFC is built around making fights that fans want to see and neither of these fighters will be in high demand for a while.

For three consecutive rounds, Staropoli started off by trying to land kicks, which Dolidze was able to avoid. Dolidze then closed the gap and was able to gain the dominant grappling position. To make matters worse, he maintained his bear hug on Staropoli, who was strong enough to avoid going to the mat. This meant that Dolidze held him against the cage in a struggle so boring that the two men were actually carrying on a dialogue during the match.

This scenario took place in all three rounds. Dolidze was awarded with a unanimous decision victory. Even those were present at the Apex center in Las Vegas may forget this fight took place.

Walt Harris vs. Marcin Tybura

Walt Harris wanted to prove that his conditioning, which has been his Achilles’ heel in the past, was no longer an issue. Unfortunately, he did not get that chance. He came out very aggressive at the opening bell, landing a high kick and following it up with a great striking combo. However, his next attempt at a high kick became the turning point in the round. Tybura was able to catch the kick with his hands and use the momentum to score a takedown of his own. He then began to pummel Harris with strikes who eventually lost the ability to defend himself. The referee was left with no choice but to stop the fight. This was an impressive first round TKO victory for Marcin Tybura.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Augusto Sakai

For the majority of the first round, these two heavyweights showed tremendous respect for one another’s punching power. Knowing full well that one shot could end the fight, they danced around the octagon looking for an opportunity. With under a minute to go, it looked like one of the most uneventful rounds in recent memory.

However, Rozenstruik saw an opening and took full advantage of the moment. Sakai let his hands down briefly and “Bigi boy” capitalized with a left hook, followed by a right cross that sent his opponent to the mat. He then pounced on his opponent with a hammer fist that knocked him out. When the fight was declared a knockout, there was literally one second remaining in the first round. It was an epic display of power for Jairzinho, who may have put his name back in contention for the heavyweight championship after this performance.

This was another entertaining slate of fights at the UFC Vegas 28 Apex Center in Las Vegas. This was a great way to build up to next week’s event where reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will defend his belt against Marvin Vettori at the Gila River Arena in Glendale. Stay tuned fight fans, as always we’ll have all the latest coverage for you right here at World In Sport!


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