UFC Vegas 56 was solid all-around. The heavyweight headliner ended quickly, and the featherweight co-headliner produced a new contender.
The preliminary portion of the card began with an impressive performance by our ‘Fighter to Watch’ Erin Blanchfield, who submitted JJ Aldrich via second-round standing guillotine. ‘Cold Blooded’ improved to 3-0 under the UFC banner and set her sights on the winner of Jessica Eye vs. Maycee Barber for her next appearance. Rinat Fakhretdinov was supposed to debut over a year ago, but the ‘Gladiator’ proved he was worth the wait and dominated Andreas Michailidis en route to a unanimous decision. Jeff Molina and Zhalgas Zhumagulov were involved in a scrap that saw ‘El Jefe’ eke out a split decision. Tony Gravely gave us a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ knockout, throwing a perfectly timed uppercut to the jaw of Johnny Munoz and finishing him with ground-and-pound in just 68 seconds. Benoit Saint-Denis returned to the win column with a second-round rear-naked choke of Niklas Stolze. ‘God of War’ was ready to go again, requesting a fight on the upcoming UFC Fight Night in London. Damon Jackson took a unanimous decision over a game Daniel Argueta, the LFA bantamweight champion who accepted the fight on short notice. Joe Solecki earned a majority decision over Alex Da Silva, who was deducted a point mid-fight because of repeated fence grabs. A vicious Karolina Kowalkiewicz snapped a five-fight losing streak and defeated Felice Herrig again, this time by way of second-round rear-naked choke. ‘Lil Bulldog’ left her gloves in the Octagon and confirmed her retirement after the loss to the ‘Polish Princess’.
The main portion of the card saw Alonzo Menifield brutalize Askar Mozharov with elbows from the crucifix position for a first-round finish. Ode Osbourne caught Zarrukh Adashev with an overhand right and followed up with punches on the ground to score a 61-second knockout. The ‘Jamaican Sensation’ used his time on the microphone to challenge the aforementioned Molina, who expressed interest in the fight on social media. Karine Silva showed off her ‘Killer’ instinct, dropping and submitting Poliana Botelho with a D’arce choke in the first round. The Contender Series graduate extended her win streak to six straight. Michael Trizano vs. Lucas Almeida was wild from start to finish, with both men having near-fight ending moments. However, the Brazilian emerged victorious after sending the ‘Lone Wolf’ to the canvas with a nasty left hook and follow-up punches that forced the referee to stop the action in the third round. Movsar Evloev put Dan Ige through the wringer, dominating ‘50K’ and earning a unanimous decision. The American Top Team product remains unbeaten as a professional and expects another ‘big name’ for his next outing.
Alexander Volkov returned to the win column with a first-round finish of Jairzinho Rozenstruik in our headliner. ‘Drago’ stung ‘Bigi Boy’ with a right hand and swarmed him with a barrage of punches that eventually led to referee Herb Dean stepping in to stop the fight.
Performance of the Night: Ode Osbourne and Karine Silva
Erin Blanchfield def. JJ Aldrich by submission (standing guillotine) at 2:38 of Round 2
Tony Gravely def. Johnny Munoz by KO (punches) at 1:08 of Round 1
Benoit Saint-Denis def. Niklas Stolze by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:32 of Round 2
Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Felice Herrig by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:01 of Round 2
Alonzo Menifield def. Askar Mozharov by TKO (elbows) at 4:40 of Round 1
Ode Osbourne def. Zarrukh Adashev by KO (punches) at 1:01 of Round 1
Karine Silva def. Poliana Botelho by submission (D’arce choke) at 4:55 of Round 1
Lucas Almeida def. Michael Trizano by TKO (punches) at :55 of Round 3
Alexander Volkov def. Jairzinho Rozenstruik by TKO (punches) 2:12 of Round 1
Fight of the Night: Michael Trizano vs. Lucas Almeida
Rinat Fakhretdinov def. Andreas Michailidis by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Jeff Molina def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Damon Jackson def. Daniel Argueta by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Joe Solecki def. Alex Da Silva by majority decision (28-28, 28-27, 29-27)
Movsar Evloev def. Dan Ige by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
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