LineStar® Weekly Knockout (UFC) -Fight Night Rozenstruik vs. Volkov





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Chris Guy (MMA Expert)
Chris Guy (MMA Expert)
We’re Back With Another LineStar Weekly Knockout!
Written by LineStar contributor, combat sports enthusiast, and practitioner, Chris Guy.
Instagram: @therealsethgeko & Twitter: @DadHallOfFamer

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Main Card
Alexander Volkov (-160) vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik (+130)
Volkov: DK: $8.6k | Rozenstruik: DK:$7.6k
I spent the week off doing calculations, using the FOIL method, the Pythagorean theorem, and Newton’s Second Law (F = M x A), but still couldn’t figure out how Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik ended up in another main event.  Alexander Volkov, aka “Drago,” is far from the man who killed Apollo Creed in the square circle, and Jairzinho Rozenstruik often looks like someone unplugged the N64 controller mid Tekken game.  
Good news/bad news: The good news is that this card has some serious bangers, including some savages making their UFC debuts.  The bad news is that Volkov vs. Rozenstruik could play out along the same spectrum as the last main event, Vieira vs. Holm.  
Jairzinho Rozenstruik is one of the most perplexing, head-scratching fighters to ever step into the Octagon.  He has one-punch Dim Mak touch of death power but often only throws one punch per round.  In Indonesia, the Toraja people have a ritual called ‘Ma’nene’.  It’s kind of like Día De Los Muertos but on steroids.  The Toraja exhume their loved ones who have passed away, dress them up, and partake in the loved one’s favorite past times.  For example, if I were to have passed on to the afterlife, my family would dig me up, dress me in a pair of Dickies, a Pro Club tee, and DC kicks.  In one hand, they’d place a blunt, and in the other, a bong.  What the hell does this have to do with the price of Ho Hos at the Valero Food Mart?  When I watch Rozenstruik scrap, I often think he was exhumed, dressed in a pair of fight shorts and four-ounce gloves and propped up in the cage.  And he stays that way for nointy-noine percent of the fight.
I say ALL that to say this: Rozenstruik’s style works more often than not.  There’s no hole too deep for Bigi Boy’s power to pull him out of.  Allistair Overeem was on his way to an uncontested five-round flawless victory against Rozenstruik when The Reem suddenly turned into Danny Dimes, tripping up at the fifteen-yard line with nothing but daylight ahead of him.  The Reem was literally KO’d at the buzzer, and his face turned into a one-sided Joker mask.  Until that moment, Rozenstruik was relatively inactive for twenty-four minutes and fifty-five seconds of the fight.  
Jairzinho was a highly accomplished kickboxer with a 76-8 record before transitioning to MMA.  When all the stars in the Milky Way align, and Rozenstruik lets his strikes go, you can see his technical ability.  He can put together crisp hand and kick combinations and has VERY brief periods of aggression when he will blitz with short overhands and hooks.  If any land, they set the Roomba in the cage and place its contents in a Ziploc bag.  Against Alexander Volkov, the game plan is as simple as it can get: do something.  Throw hands and be aggressive. Rozenstruik can KO Volkov if he pressures Volkov, moves him backward, traps him against the cage, and unloads bombs.
I’ve said it before: If Alexander Volkov is “Drago,” I’m Hunter S. Thompson.  He ain’t a killer, and he doesn’t crush a lot but was once a very formidable foe.  But his days of being fringe title challenger and measuring sticks for future challengers are over.  Alexander Volkov made a name in the UFC as a long kickboxer with an excellent ability to control range and developed a unique knack for fighting big power punchers and neutralizing them.  He’s 8-4 in the UFC, with losses coming only to elite competition, Derrick Lewis, Ciryl Gane, Curtis Blaydes, and most recently, Tom Aspinal.
Volkov has excellent long striking, using his jab and front snap kicks to the body to control range.  He KO’d Walt Harris with a devastating teep to the body that led to Volkov finishing Harris with ground and pound.  Volkov chips away with front body kicks and uses them as a second set of jabs to draw attention away from his hands.
Drago’s biggest deficiency is one that Rozenstruik won’t be able to take advantage of.  Volkov is a slip and fall victim from his back.  Piso Mojado.  If Rozenstruik has been hiding wrestling skills, this would be a good time to bust them out.  The key for Volkov will be much like Rozenstruik’s, increasing his volume and attacking Rozenstruik up the middle with his teeps.  Volkov is 1-2 in his last three bouts and almost let the fight against Marcin Tybura slip away because of inactivity.  Combinations are the key for Volkov, who will likely have to win this fight on points.
Rozenstruik will be entering as the dog at (+130) and will be the finishing threat in this matchup.  Volkov is the much higher volume puncher, and his value will come in high significant strikes landed over twenty-five minutes.  Volkov averages close to five significant strikes per minute, while Rozenstruik averages .5.  Haha, not really.  Rozenstruik averages just below three significant strikes per minute, which is two more strikes landed per minute more than I would’ve thought.  I don’t see Volkov finishing Rozenstruik, but Rozenstruik will provide a solid middle-tier option with a high chance of a finish.  Rozenstruik has only won one fight by decision, and that was outside the UFC.  
The main event picks have fallen victim to some serious f**kery as of late.  Aleksandar Rakic blew out his ACL in the third round three weeks ago, and Holy Holm was robbed at the Valero, victim of the old banana-under-the-sweatshirt routine.  Holm was in no way a world-beater in the contest, but she didn’t lose that fight either.  Unfortunately for me, this fight is a complete toss-up.  Betting on Rozenstruik is like betting on OSP; you have zero idea wtf Rozenstruik will do in that cage.  And Volkov surviving for twenty-five minutes is a tall task.  Alexander Volkov via decision.
Winner: Alexander Volkov | Method: Decision
Volkov Projection: 78.27
Volkov Projection: 78.27
Dan Ige (+300) vs. Movsar Evloev (-400)
Ige: DK: $6.8k | Evloev: DK: $9.4k
This is the classic matchup, wrestler vs. striker.  Movsar Evloev is a reincarnate of Frankie Edgar in his prime, and Dan Ige is a boxer with light switch power in both hands.  If you had to pick one discipline that is the most dominant in this sport, it would be wrestling.  The ability to dictate where the fight takes place is the equivalent of stealing the catcher’s signs and relaying them to the batter by banging on trashcans in the dugout.  There’s no greater advantage.
Movsar Evloev is a mix between Frankie Edgar and bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili.  He looks a lot like Frankie on his feet with tight short combinations and constant lateral movement.  Edgar is one of the best fighters at using his boxing to set up takedowns, and Evloev is much of the same.  Evloev chain wrestlers, transitioning from different techniques; outside singles to inside singles to doubles to body locks in one fluid motion.  
Movsar has the technical boxing to hold his own on the feet with most fighters in the division, but he can get got.  Against Mike Grundy, Movsar had to overcome early adversity after he was dropped and almost finished in the first round.  In his last bout against Hakeem Dawodu, Evloev was cruising to an uneventful dub but again ran into adversity late in the third round.  If he has any lapse on the feet against Ige, “50k” will succeed where Grundy and Dawodu failed and put him away.
Evloev averages a crazy four takedowns per fight and four and a half significant strikes per minute and is a future problem for anyone in the featherweight division.  But his major malfunction is his lack of finishing ability.  Evloev couldn’t finish if he had an Instagram model alone in the champagne room.  Eight of his fifteen career dubs have come via decision, including all five in the UFC.  In twenty career fights, Dan Ige has never been finished.  If Evloev can find a way to stop Ige, it would be a major statement that would catapult him into the contender conversations.
50k is one of the best fighters you’ll see at fighting defensively inside the pocket.  Ige gets into technical firefights and lives to make documentaries about them.  When exchanging in the pocket, Ige’s right hand never leaves his face, and he shortens his punches like a batter shortens his swing to get around on the inside pitch.  Defensively, Ige is fundamentally sound and leaves few opportunities for opponents to land big shots.  
I would liken Ige’s striking to wrestler striking without the wrestling.  He covers distance with his piston right hand, the trademark of most wrestler strikers, and uses basic two-punch combinations.  The cross-hook combination (known as the 2-3) is a crafty way to sneak the lead hand around the guard because it deceptively brings the lead hand closer to the opponent than when you lead with it.  Ige also attacks the body with combinations and mixes up head and body strikes mid-combination.  When Dan dawns the yellow jersey and stays on his bike, constantly moving laterally, he’s at his best.  He finds angles to attack instead of repeatedly up the middle.
The problem for Ige will be staying on his feet.  Ige has fifty-five percent takedown defense in the UFC and has never fought a wrestler at Evloev’s level.  The Korean Zombie was able to take down Ige three times.  More importantly, The Korean Zombie racked up over ten minutes of top control time.  That was a five-round fight, but it still doesn’t bode well for Ige against a far superior wrestler than the Korean Zombie.  Lateral movement and using up the middle strikes to discourage level changes will be the key for Ige.  Evloev has excellent open mat takedowns, so this might be one of those occasions where Ige will want to skirt around the warning track.  This will allow him to use the cage to get back to his feet when Evloev takes him down.
As I’m writing this, the odds have not been released, but I expect Ige to be the dog.  Possibly a heavy dog.  But Dan will also be the best type of dog, a live dog.  There will be stretches of stand-up exchanges, and Ige will have plenty of opportunities to knock out Evloev.  Ige can finish Evloev, but Evloev won’t finish Ige.  That being said, Evloev’s style is built to control and salt away the clock to secure the dub.  His wrestling is too slick and dominant, and Ige will likely spend significant time on his back.  Evloev’s value will be in four and a half significant strikes landed per minute and top control time.  Peppering shots from the top position add up quick.  Movsar Evloev via decision. 
Winner: Movsar Evloev | Method: Decision
Evloev Projection 92.75
Evloev Projection 92.75
Lucas Almeida (+190) vs. Michael Trizano (-240)
Almeida: DK: $7.1k | Trizano: DK: $9.1k
The Contender Series has forever ruined pick ‘ems.  It’s damn near impossible to gauge how some of the fighters coming up from the regional scenes will fair against UFC level competition.  Most of them look like killers and have impressive highlight reels, KO’ing Boxcar Willies in junkyards and drained swimming pools.  Then they get under the bright lights and face adversity for the first time.  This will be the case for Lucas Almeida, who looked impressive in defeat on the show.  Almeida will be making his debut against the veteran and The Ultimate Fighter Season 27 winner Michael Trizano.
Lucas Almeida is 13-1, with his only career loss coming in a close competitive fight on the Contender Series.  Twelve of his thirteen career wins came by finish, eight by TKO/KO, and four by submission.  When I watch Almeida fight, I think of the Fighting Irish logo with the old-school fisticuffs-fighting stance.  He has a throwback offense-is-the-best-defense approach.  The ol’ take-one-to-give one, eye-for-an-eye mentality that leaves him smacking people in the shins with a white cane on his way out the venue as he yells, “You can’t catch me, coppers!”
Almeida has shades of “Wavey” Davey Grant in him.  He has an awkward style with sneaky power and starts combinations from the body and works his way up.  Aggression is his best weapon, but will he have the same gusto against competition he can’t steam roll over?  From what I’ve seen, Almeida can win this fight by pressuring Trizano, who is a relatively low output striker compared to Almeida.  Almeida’s major malfunction is his Chris Rock head movement and turn-the-other-cheek defense.  That won’t bode well for him in the future against fighters willing to stand in the pocket and trade with him.
Michael Trizano is a solid all-around fighter with strong fundamentals that has faced far better competition than Almeida has.  Trizano remains defensively responsible in every position and rarely opens up offensively.  This style assures that he can go the distance with stiff competition but also hampers him from taking the next step in his development.  But on any given night, Trizano can mess around and get a ten-point triple-double because he’s always competitive.  The best way to describe Trizano is that he’s a professional.  He won’t beat himself with unforced turnovers.
The key for Trizano will be testing Almeida’s all-around MMA skills and dragging Almeida into deep waters by working takedowns and top control.  Most importantly, Trizano needs to bring back the glorious mullet.  If the mullet makes an appearance, Almeida might as well just kick it at the Holiday Inn and skip the fight because it’s a wrap.  Trizano opened as the heavy (-250) favorite, a reflection of his experience against high-level completion.  Finishers like Almeida are always live dogs, and Almeida will have plenty of opportunities to change the course of the fight if he can stay on his feet and create chaotic exchanges.  But I’m rolling with the Vet on this one.  Michael Trizano via decision.  On wax.
Winner: Michael Trizano | Method: Decision
Trizano Projection 71.21
Trizano Projection 71.21
Karine Silva (-120) vs. Poliano Botelho (-110)
Silva: DK: $8.2k | Botelho: DK: $8k
Go on YouTube and search for the rapper Gorilla Black.  He was a rapper who stole Biggie’s entire style at a time when biting styles was a career death sentence.  Before, it was socially acceptable for every rapper to use the same style and flow.  Karine Silva Gorilla Black’d Amanda Nunes’ entire style in the same manner.  Another product of the Contender Series, Silva’s impersonation skills are on Eddie Murphy levels.  The low hands, long powerful punches, and wide stance are all there; it’s uncanny how similar her striking is to the former GOAT’s.
Silva by the numbers: Silva is 14-4 with a one hundred percent finishing rate.  She has noine dubs by TKO/KO and five by submission.  She has an eclectic collection of submission wins, including three armbars, one heel hook, and one kneebar.  These subs can all be initiated from the guard, which is important when facing fighters like Poliana Botelho, who thrive off maintaining top control.  Silva is the perfect example of how to utilize the rubber guard to stifle the opponent’s offense from the top while setting up submissions and striking from the guard.  The rubber guard is the most underrated and underutilized grappling technique in the sport because it requires excellent hip flexibility.
The key for the debuting Karine Silva, will be to keep the fight standing and use her long strikes to stay on the outside.  If she ends up on her back, she will have to force scrambles from sub attempts and cause damage with strikes from the bottom. 
Poliana Botelho is a serviceable striker who mostly relies on relocating the fight and maintaining position over submission top control.  That’s it; that’s all I got.  Botelho is fairly vanilla with no real high-level skills that give her an advantage over most competition.  She has lost two straight and three out of her last four.  I think this is a showcase fight for a young, promising fighter, Karine Silva.  The only question is, can Silva maintain her one hundred percent finishing rate against a fighter who has only been finished once in twelve fights?  I say yes.  Karine Silva via armbar, round two.
Winner: Karine Silva | Method: Armbar Rd.2
Alonzo Menifield (-165) vs Askar Mozharov (+135)
Menifield: DK: $8.7k | Mozharov: DK: $7.5k
Askar Mozharov keeps the trend alive of fighters making their debut against UFC veterans.  Mozharov is 21-8 and is a monster.  Monsters Inc.  Check it, eighteen of Mozharov’s wins came in the first round, and seven of his eight losses also came in the first round.  Kill or be killed.  From the highlights and fights I was able to find of Mozharov, I don’t know how he lost eight fights.  
One of Mozharov’s fights took place in what looked like a Costco parking lot.  People were walking by eating chicken bakes and stumbled upon a goliath from Mordor fighting a Medieval Times employee on his first ten-minute break.  Mozharov amputated the poor bastard’s leg with one calf kick so quick, when the blood spilled, it was still blue.  He then threw a wheel kick at quantum speeds and knocked the opponent into the fourth dimension to the tepid applause of the fifteen people in attendance.  I mean, the blue knight was standing there one second and evaporated, completely gone the next. It was like homie landed in a wormhole and turned into an Unsolved Mysteries episode.
Mozharov has excellent kickboxing with a heavy variety of kicks.  It’s rare that you see a guy Mozharov’s size with the athletic ability to throw every kind of spinning attack with high efficiency.  I also watched Mozharov hit pads, and dude is all kinds of scary.  If I beat this guy in a dream, I’d wake up and apologize.  The problem with Mozharov is I don’t know anything about his ground game, and he’s facing a solid wrestler in Alonzo Menifield, who has been fighting monsters like Mozharov his whole life.
Menifield is a huge wrestler with heavy power in his right hand and is also a Contender Series alumnus.  Since his debut in 2018, Menifield has fought high-level competition and has had some ups and downs.  He has notable win over Paul Craig but is coming off a loss to William Knight.
If Menifield’s game plan isn’t to shoot a double leg during the glove touch, he will get knocked out and needs a new training camp.  I’m not saying Menifield can’t land a heavy bomb of his own and KO Mozharov, but it would be the most treacherous S-grade path to victory he could choose to take.  I said, I know nothing about Mozharov’s ground game, but I’ve seen his striking, and I’d be willing to take my chances on the mat.
Have the sleep apnea machines on deck, a warm bah-bah in the hole, and the sleep number set to a firm eighty-five for this one.  I’d be shocked like Marv if this makes it out of the first round.  Menifield will enter as the (-160) favorite, making Askar Mozharov a live dog howling at the moon.  Mozharov will be a middle/low tier roster option with as much finishing upside as you could ask for.  As long as he isn’t a Tony Ferguson chalk outline if he gets taken down.  Askar Mozharov via spontaneous combustion, round one. Wax on; wax off.
Winner: Askar Mozharov | Method: Spontaneous Combustion Rd.1
Felice Herrig (-125) vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz (-105)
Herrig: DK: $8.3k | Kowalkiewicz: DK: $7.9k
Pet Sematary 2, Anchorman 2, Dumb & Dumber 2, Zoolander 2, Speed 2, Jaws 2, S.Darko: Off the top of my head, all are sequels that never should’ve been made.  Add Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz 2 to that that list.  This is a rematch from 2018 that served as Kowalkiewicz’s last win in her last five fights and was the beginning of a three-fight losing streak for Herrig.  Dubious distinctions. 
Kowalkiewicz is an aggressive kickboxer who always finds herself in close firefights.  She averages just over five significant strikes landed per minute but is far from a finisher.  Only three of her twelve career wins came by form of stoppage.  Karolina’s specialty is the Thai Clinch and using it to deliver knees and elbows to punctuate hand combinations.
Felice Herrig is similar to a sneaker that can’t sneak; she’s a wrestler who struggles scoring takedowns.  Subsequently, she ends up in kickboxing matches and doesn’t have the advanced skills to compete with elite strikers.  Her path to victory will be succeeding where she failed in the first meeting, taking the fight to the mat.  Karolina ended up in the top position in the first round of the first fight and dominated.
Karolina will be stepping in as the rare underdog against a fighter she has already beaten.  Similar to when Carla Esparza fought Rose Namajunas the second time.  Add Karolina’s name to a long list of live dogs on this card.  A decision favors Karonlina’s much higher output against a fighter who also only has three career finishes.  In her last four fights, Herrig has only landed two takedowns and didn’t land any in the first fight against Karolina.  Karolina Kowalkiewicz via decision.
Winner: Karolina Kowalkiewicz | Method: Decision
Kowalkiewicz Projection 42.87
Kowalkiewicz Projection 42.87
Highlighted Matchup
Rinat Fakeretdinov (+220) vs Andreas Michailidis (-285)
Fakeretdinov: DK: $9.2k | Michailidis: DK:$7k
Rinat Fakhretdinov.  Check the last name.  Another monster hiding under the bed.  That just randomly reminded me of the movie Little Monsters with Fred Savage and Howie Mandel.  Anywho, this guy’s last name ends in “ov,” and he’s 18-1 and riding a seventeen-fight winning streak.  Sixteen of his dubs have come by finish, eleven TKO/KO’s, and five submissions.  
Rinat’s most recent fight was on a regional circuit under the UAE Warriors promotion and was a devastating fifty-five-second KO.  It was a fight that Dana White was sitting cage side to witness.  Dana immediately went backstage and handed this guy a contract.  
His last name will tell you he has dominating wrestling and will likely use it to take down his opponent, Andreas Michailidis.  If it does stay standing, Rinat throws long windmill haymakers, and this fight could quickly turn into a slobber knocker.  
Michailidis is a wild power striker in his own right and will not hesitate to engage in 50/50 exchanges.  That being said, Michailidis’s management hates him.  This will be the second straight fight Michailidis will be thrown to the Gila monsters against a highly touted debuting fighter.  His last bout was against Alex Pereira, a fight he lost by second-round flying knee TKO.
Fakhretdinov will be the (-285) heavy favorite, and I think there could be some distant value on Michailidis as a sizeable dog.  He’s a finisher; twelve of his thirteen career wins came by finish.  He has heavy hands, and will have a puncher’s chance if he can stay standing and is willing to risk his consciousness by engaging in wild exchanges.  I say that to put on wax this: Rinat Fakhretdinov via TKO, round two.
 Winner: Rinat Fakhretdinov | Method: TKO Rd.2
Twenty-Twen-Twen Sleepers
Twenty-Ten-Twen Sleeper
This card is full of underdogs howling at the moon, keeping all the neighbors awake.  On the undercard, I’m eyeing Zarrukh Adashev at (+155).  Adashev is a little juggernaut with a kickboxing background that throws nothing but short bombs.  His opponent is Ode Osbourne, a long, fast striker with massive defensive holes.  Osbourne has had ups and downs in the UFC, and Adashev has the power to turn the tide of any fight if he can get inside of Osbourne’s long strikes.
Dan Ige at (+300) will have a chance late to steal this fight.  Movsar Evloev has shown vulnerability on the feet in previous fights, including his most recent bout against Hakeem Dawodu.  Maybe Evloev took the foot off the gas after being up two rounds to nil, but Dawodu had moments late that had Evloev in trouble looking for desperate takedowns.  Ige isn’t as fast as Dawodu, but he’s more powerful.  One mistake on the feet, and Ige can shut Evloev’s lights off.
Making his debut, Askar Mozharov at (+135) can KO most people on earth with the breeze created by a missed punch.  My only reluctance on Mozharov is his unknown ground game against a solid wrestler in Alonzo Menifield.  The key for Mozharov will be landing some early calf kicks and making level changes difficult for Menifield.  If this stays standing, someone is going to sleep.  Early.
Pick ‘Em
Ode Osbourne (-190) vs. Zarrukh Adashev (+155)
            Winner: Zarrukh Adashev
            Method: Decision
Joe Solecki (-180) vs. Alex Da Silva (+140)
            Winner: Joe Solecki
            Method: Decision
Dan Argueta (+350) vs. Damon Jackson (-500)
    Winner: Damon Jackson
            Method: Guillotine Choke Rd.2
Niklas Stolze (+130) vs. Benoit St. Denis (-160)
    Winner: Benoit St. Denis
            Method: Arm Triangle Rd.2
Johnny Munoz Jr. (+110) vs. Tony Gravely (-130)
    Winner: Tony Gravely
            Method: Decision
Jeff Molina (-190) vs. Zhalgas Zhumagulov (+155)
    Winner: Jeff Molina
            Method: TKO Rd.2
Erin Blanchfield (-190) vs. J.J. Aldrich (+155)
    Winner: Erin Blanchfield
            Method: Decision
Thanks for reading LineStar Weekly Knockout! We’ll be back next Thursday with another one. Until then, good luck and support your local MMA Gym.
About Me
My name is Chris Guy, and I’m an avid combat sports enthusiast and practitioner. I’ve been a fan of MMA since the early 2000s when Limewire was still around, and I downloaded Bas Rutten’s Big Book of Combat. In 2004, I started training Muay Thai at City Boxing in San Diego, CA. I competed as an amateur for many years, and I’ve also dabbled in Jiu-Jitsu. I follow many different disciplines, such as Combat Ji-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Glory Kickboxing, Boxing, and MMA.
I’m equally as enthusiastic about the craft of writing, and in addition to writing about combat sports, I also write short fiction and music. I hope to bring unique prose to sports writing, and along the way, encourage people to not only become Martial Arts fans but to also become Martial Artists themselves. 
In the future, you may see me refer to the Thunderdome; it’s an ode to the old Mad Max movie and refers to the world-class training facility I built in my one-car garage. It’s complete with throw dummies, wrestling mats, heavy bags, and six months’ worth of Chef Boyardee cans from when I thought the world was going to end back in March. I hope you enjoy my work, and if you don’t, the Thunderdome has an open door policy. 
Check out my Podcast The Whiskey (S)ick Podcast on Apple and Spotify. Parental Advisory Warning
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Chris Guy (MMA Expert)
Chris Guy (MMA Expert) @LineStarApp


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