The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight division will look to churn out another contender this Saturday (June 4, 2022) when Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik square off inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada. UFC Vegas 56, the latest ESPN+-streamed card, will also see Movsar Evloev attempt to punch his ticket to Featherweight contention at Dan Ige’s expense and Mike Trizano trade hands with Lucas Almeida in a potential war.
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What Went Wrong at UFC Vegas 55?
I’ll cop to Elise Reed and Felipe Colares being bad choices that I really should have reconsidered, but Holly Holm won that fight. It wasn’t pretty and didn’t remotely resemble the fight I envisioned in my head, but she grinded that out.
UFC Vegas 56 Odds For The Under Card:
Felice Herrig (-125) vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz (+105)
Joe Solecki (-170) vs. Alex da Silva (+150)
Damon Jackson (-510) vs. Daniel Argueta (+375)
Benoit Saint Denis (-160) vs. Niklas Stolze (+140)
Tony Gravely (-135) vs. Johnny Munoz Jr. (+115)
Jeff Molina (-180) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (+155)
Rinat Fakhretdinov (-265) vs. Andreas Michailidis (+215)
Erin Blanchfield (-525) vs. J.J. Aldrich (+385)
Thoughts: Alright, let’s see what we can squeeze out of this. Joe Solecki and Rinat Fakhretdinov for the favorites, Niklas Stolze and Zhalgas Zhumagulov for the underdogs.
Though he seemingly has all the tools to be a genuine threat at 155 pounds, Alex da Silva has just struggled to catch fire in the Octagon. Admittedly, his two losses came against the colossal Alexander Yakovlev and the lethal Brad Riddell, but the cardio and defensive grappling issues he showed bode ill for him against Solecki. The only big concern is that da Silva’s been out for two years and could have improved in the interim, so keep the bet modest.
Rinat Fakhretdinov is an uninspiring grinder with functional striking. Andreas Michailidis is also that, but with far less power and serious cardio issues. Like I said in my preview: unless “The Spartan” is a fundamentally rebuilt, fantastically improved fighter at 170, “The Gladiator” is going to smother him without too much issue.
Stolze’s winless (0-2) Octagon record admittedly isn’t the most inspiring, but Saint Denis received the sort of beating that takes years off of your life last time out. On top of that, Stolze has him decisively out-gunned on the feet and looks equipped to shut down a wrestling attack that couldn’t hold down the eminently smotherable Elizeu “Capoeira.”
He’s worth a shot, at least.
Zhumagulov is admittedly the riskiest of the lot. I just believe that even with his recent struggles, he’s more proven than Jeff Molina, faster, and aggressive enough to recreate the early success Aoriqileng enjoyed without the late-fight collapse that sank “The Mongolian Murderer.”
UFC Vegas 56 Odds For The Main Card:
Alexander Volkov (-155) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+135)
Movsar Evloev (-410) vs. Dan Ige (+310)
Mike Trizano (-210) vs. Lucas Almeida (+175)
Karine Silva (-120) vs. Poliana Botelho (EVEN)
Alonzo Menifield (-160) vs. Askar Mozharov (+140)
Ode Osbourne (-180) vs. Zarrukh Adashev (+155)
Thoughts: Give me Alexander Volkov and Ode Osbourne for sure.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik’s great sin is passivity. He threw, not landed, just over 100 strikes in 25 minutes against Ciryl Gane and was well on his way to losing a decision to Alistar Overeem’s long-range offense before clipping “The Reem” in the waning seconds. I just don’t see him putting in enough effort to chase down a much taller, slightly ranger fighter in Volkov, who lands nearly twice as many significant strikes per minute.
I absolutely see “Drago” getting back in the win column.
The jury’s still out on Osbourne’s ceiling. He’s clearly got the physical gifts to be a threat and there’s no shame in losing to the likes of Brian Kelleher and Manel Kape, but he didn’t exactly set the world on fire against the limited C.J. Vergara. Still, Zarrukh Adashev has had issues with longer strikers in the past and barely eked out a win against one of the division’s most limited fighters in Ryan Benoit last time out.
In short, he seems like a good deal at better than -200.
UFC Vegas 56 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Joe Solecki and Zhalgas Zhumagulov: $50 to make $155
- Parlay — Rinat Fakhretdine and Niklas Stolze: $80 to make $184.80
- Parlay — Alexander Volkov and Ode Osbourne: $100 to make $156
As ramshackle as UFC Vegas 56 it may be, this card’s got at least a few scraps worth watching. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Initial Investment For 2022: $600
Current Total: $1,536.25
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 56 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance (on ESPN+) at 4 p.m. ET.
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