The Bloody Elbow staff has made its picks for Saturday’s UFC Vegas 56 card, and we’re only narrowly leaning towards a Jairzinho Rozenstruik win over Alexander Volkov in the main event. As for the co-main event, Stephie Haynes is the only one going with Dan Ige over Movsar Evloev. To see the latest betting lines for these fights, head over to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Note: Predictions are entered throughout the week and collected the day before the event. Explanations behind each pick are not required and some writers opt not to do so for their own reasons. For example, if Zane Simon entered all of his predictions on Wednesday without adding in any explanations, he has no idea if he’s going to be the only one siding with one fighter for any given fight.
Alexander Volkov vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Mookie Alexander: I’d have comfortably picked Volkov a couple of years ago. I think it’s been about that long since Volkov actually looked good and sure of himself in a fight. There’s something about that Derrick Lewis bout that may have changed him. His win over Greg Hardy is aging so poorly given he opted to have a tepid kickboxing match due to presumptive concerns that Hardy might hurt him with a big shot. The loss to Aspinall is arguably the worst he’s ever looked and while that might be a credit to Aspinall, Volkov normally isn’t that non-competitive. So essentially we have a similar dynamic to the Lewis fight when talking about the Rozenstruik fight, except Rozenstruik isn’t easily hurtable and he’s more technical. I get the sense Volkov can win much of this fight just off of activity up until he doesn’t, which is to say Rozenstruik is going to land something massive and Volkov will crumble. I’m pretty sure I’m going to thoroughly dislike every second of this contest if this doesn’t end in a KO. Jairzinho Rozenstruik by TKO, round 4.
Zane Simon: I just don’t think Volkov is fast enough to dip in and out of range while striking against Rozenstruik for any length of time. He’s even looked a step slower lately, struggling to maintain cardio and pace even in fights where it seemed like that would be a clear advantage. And while there’s certainly room for Volkov to get takedowns and work a really honestly decent top game, he just doesn’t initiate much wrestling if his opponent doesn’t try to tie up with him first, and that’s not gonna be any part of Rozenstruik’s game. Add in a recent camp change, and his own admission to struggling in his performances, and I’ll take Jairzinho Rozenstruik via TKO, round 2.
Staff picking Volkov: Victor, Dayne
Staff picking Rozenstruik: Mookie, Zane, Stephie
Dan Ige vs. Movsar Evloev
Mookie Alexander: This is a tough one because Ige has really good punching power and he’s really difficult for most fighters to outclass given his well-rounded game. It is hard to shake off how often he throws a round away in a three-rounder and how that seems like an expressway to losing a clear decision to Evloev. He will wrestle and he is going to have the edge on the mat you would suspect. I feel like Ige’s best route to victory is to keep this on the feet and look to land power shots, but that’s easier said than done. Movsar Evloev by unanimous decision.
Zane Simon: I’m a bit concerned about what happens to Evloev when he meets a real power puncher who can adjust to his fairly predictable gameplan. And while I’m not sure that Ige is the best adjusting fighter in the world, he absolutely has the power to make Evloev pay, especially if he can catch Evloev early as he dips into the pocket. Still, while Ige is a capable grappler, its hard not to think of how TKZ got him down and wrapped him up with dominant positional control in their fight and assume Evloev can’t do a fair bit of the same. Even if I think he could have a couple really hairy moments, I gotta take Movsar Evloev by decision.
Staff picking Ige: Stephie
Staff picking Evloev: Mookie, Zane, Victor, Dayne
Michael Trizano vs. Lucas Almeida
Zane Simon: Lucas Almeida starts really fast, with lots of power, and well chambered counters. Alongside his penchant for jumping on quick submissions, there’s a really good chance he puts a scare into Trizano in the first round of this fight. Once fights start to go a little longer, however, the shallowness of Almeida’s game starts to become a lot more apparent, and he loses steam fairly quickly. Trizano has always been really tough to hurt, and has become harder to steal rounds from as he learns to fight behind his jab. Don’t think Almeida can take this one if it goes the distance. Michael Trizano by decision.
Staff picking Trizano: Mookie, Zane, Dayne, Stephie
Staff picking Almeida:
Poliana Botelho vs. Karine Silva
Zane Simon: Tough fight to pick. Botelho tends to start fights with all the right ideas, throwing with power, dominating clinch positions, hitting takedowns. But she pushes herself so hard and with so much tension along the way that the drop off in effectiveness for her tends to be steep. On the other side, Karine Silva just seems like she’s still trying to figure out what a functional MMA game looks like. She’s got problems finding range with her strikes, and a notable willingness to pull guard and work from full guard off her back for extended stretches. I’ll take Poliana Botelho, just because she’s fought at this level, knows what to expect, and starts strong. But this fight could get a bit ugly as it goes on. Poliana Botelho by decision.
Staff picking Botelho: Mookie, Zane, Dayne, Stephie
Staff picking Silva:
Alonzo Menifield vs. Askar Mozharov
Mookie Alexander: By the time the card starts Mozharov’s actual record will be 56-189. Alonzo Menifield by KO, round 1.
Zane Simon: In Mozharov’s last loss he tapped to a single elbow strike from top control. I’m taking Alonzo Menifield via TKO, round 1.
Staff picking Menifield: Mookie, Zane, Dayne, Stephie
Staff picking Mozharov:
Zarrukh Adashev vs. Ode’ Osbourne
Zane Simon: Adashev’s game is awfully limited at this point in his career. He was able to come out the gate and functionally disable Ryan Benoit with low kicks for his sole UFC win, but even after putting Benoit on one leg in the first 30 seconds it still felt like a fighter trying to find his comfort zone in the cage. Osbourne is a rare flyweight that can fight with range and he uses it well. He should also have a strong speed advantage. Ode’ Osbourne via decision.
Staff picking Adashev:
Staff picking Osbourne: Zane, Dayne, Mookie, Stephie
This poll is closed
391 votes total
About the author