For one brief stretch, during the summer of 2016, both Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik laid claim to the moniker of “World Champion.” It is the most prestigious designation in all of sports; Volkov was the reigning and defending heavyweight champion of M-1 Global MMA, while Rozenstruik was the recently crowned heavyweight champion of EEN World Kickboxing. And then, almost as if they coordinated their plans, each man relinquished their titles to pursue bigger and better goals.
Fast forward to 2022 and each man is one of the top ten ranked heavyweights in the UFC. While each man has earned the right to be considered an elite prospect, neither has put together a streak impressive enough to garner a title shot. On Saturday, June 4th, they will face off against one another as the main event of Fight Night. Each man knows that the winner has a great chance of finally being awarded that elusive title shot. There’s a lot to unpack here; without further ado, let’s get into it!
Volkov vs. Rozenstruik
Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik have each lost two out of their last three fights. However, because of the impressive manner of their victories, they’ve managed to stay in the top ten week in and week out when the UFC’s rankings are released. When they step into the octagon on Saturday, not only will the victor emerge with a new win streak and great momentum, they will also have a real shot at being catapulted into the top five heavyweight contenders in the organization. With that in mind, each man will certainly give it their all from the opening glove-touch until the final bell. This is a showdown between two heavy hitters that you won’t want to miss!Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images
Ige vs. Evloev
Featherweight prospect Dan Ige was one of the most active fighters in all of the UFC in 2020 and 2021. He competed six times over the two year span; unfortunately he only won half of those bouts, suffering six defeats. However, there are still good vibes surrounding his future in the organization. No one has forgotten the six fight win streak he once went on, and he is still only 31-years-old. If he is able to get back in the win column on Saturday, he could maintain his place in the top ten, or perhaps climb even higher.
Movsar Evloev is undefeated in his mixed martial arts career. He began fighting in Eastern Europe as part of M1 Global. Since joining the UFC in the Spring of 2019, he has reeled off five consecutive victories. He is only 28-years-old and has achieved the status of Master of Sports in Greco Roman Wrestling. To say he is a highly regarded prospect is a gross understatement; many see him as a future champion of the division. His upside is tremendous indeed, but before he can celebrate his success he’ll have to go through a seasoned veteran like Dan Ige to prove to the organization that he is ready for the spotlight.
Trizano vs. Almeida
Featherweight prospect Michael Trizano joined the UFC in 2018, but has only competed in five fights in a four year time span. His inactivity is rather inexplicable; there hasn’t been any news emanating out of his camp about major injuries or setbacks. Thus, many in the organization have questioned his passion for the sport. His next opponent, Lucas Almeida, suffered a loss on Dana White’s Contender Series in September of last year, but has never had a formal introduction into the UFC until now. On Saturday, he will attempt to win his debut match as part of the main card of Fight Night from the Apex Center in Las Vegas; not a bad way to start a career.
Silva vs. Botelho
Brazilian Flyweight, Karine Silva, spent her entire career competing in regional circuits across South America. In October of last year, she got her big break in the form of an invitation to compete on Dana White’s Contender Series. Her victory that night led to a formal introduction onto the UFC’s roster; she will make her debut on Saturday night against fellow Brazilian Poliana Botelho. Although she is on a two-fight losing streak, Botelho brings a wealth of experience with her into the octagon; she has been a pro since 2013. This is a showdown between a talented rookie and a proven veteran. You won’t want to miss this compelling clash of contrasting styles and experience!
Osbourne vs. Adashev
Ode’ Osbourne and Zarrukh Adashev are two members of the UFC’s roster with little to no name recognition. Both flyweights joined the organization in 2020, and both men are looking for the signature win that will make them a household name. Neither man has had the chance to compete on the main card as widely viewed as Fight Night; expect both men to enter the octagon willing to give it their all in to make a first impression on the UFC’s fanbase. Whoever wins will be granted more opportunities to perform on the big stage. The loser will be back to square one.
Menifield vs. Mozharov
Light heavyweight prospect, Alonzo Menifield once played American Football in the CFL before ultimately deciding that he was better suited for a career in mixed martial arts. His next opponent, Askar Mozharov, is only 27-years-old but has been competing in regional circuits across Eastern Europe since 2013. Menifield has been on the UFC’s roster since 2019; Mozharov will make his organizational debut on Saturday. Each of these men have been life-long athletes and they feature two of the best physiques in the light heavyweight division. You won’t to miss this showdown between two of the elite athletes on the UFC’s roster!
How to Watch
UFC Vegas 56 can be viewed on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and on ESPN Plus in the United States. As always, we’ll have all the latest updates about the outcomes of the fights, as well as in depth analysis, available right here at World in Sport!