This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 56, we saw a battle between top heavyweight contenders. “Drago” Alexander Volkov (35-10) was looking to pick up a big win as he took on “Bigi Boy” Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-4).
Volkov was having a pretty quick turnaround after he lost to Tom Aspinall earlier this year at UFC London. Prior to that loss to Aspinall, Volkov had defeated Marcin Tybura. This fight was a really good opportunity for Volkov to show that he’s still one of the best heavyweights in the world.
Since making his UFC debut, Volkov had only lost to elite competition at heavyweight. Rozenstruik is a guy who was once looked at as an elite prospect, but now is looked at more like a guy who is good but not great. Volkov needed to win in this spot.
In the first round, both men were exchanging big shots. I think Rozenstruik was surprised with Volkov’s willingness to stay in the pocket and trade with him. Rozenstruik landed some decent shots, but then was hurt badly by a Volkov right hand.
Volkov pounced and started throwing big shots against the cage. Rozenstruik’s legs gave out and he turned away as he was falling to the ground. Referee Herb Dean jumped in to stop the fight and Volkov picked up the much needed win at UFC Vegas 56.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 56?
This was a huge win for Volkov who checks in this week at seventh in the UFC’s heavyweight rankings. Volkov continued to do what he needs to do which is defeat the guys that are ranked behind him. Now, he needs to work on defeating the guys ahead of him to improve his spot at heavyweight.
In terms of what’s next for Volkov, there are a few options for the UFC. I still would love to see a rematch with Derrick Lewis. The Black Beast is scheduled to face Sergei Pavlovich at the end of July and whoever wins that fight could likely be next for Drago.
That seems like the most likely next opponent for Volkov. Another option could be the loser of the Aspinall – Blaydes fight that happens in July. However, Volkov has two recent losses to both men so I’m not sure of the appeal there.