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UFC Vegas 56 Preview And Predictions

UFC Vegas 56

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC Vegas 56
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

UFC Vegas 56 Preview And Predictions

The UFC took a well-deserved week off from events, but this weekend starts a 10+ week stretch of cards, starting with UFC Vegas 56 which features a massive heavyweight tilt. This 6 fight main card (boo) has talent hidden throughout and should be a great card. Today I have Intern James Herrick to break down this week’s fight card with me! I will separate James’ thoughts on the card and his predictions from mine. Let’s get after it.

Ode’ Osbourne vs. Zarrukh Adashev (Flyweight)

James: Ode Osbourne versus Zarrukh Adashev is an interesting fight. Both guys have some clear reasons for optimism and pessimism. Osbourne is very big for the 125-pound weight class. He can use this to land some solid strikes from the outside. Even with that strength he does not manage range well and gets beat on the interior. Adashev has a good amount of experience in kickboxing, but he has struggled to make the transition to MMA as he currently has a 4-3 record.

This is a difficult prediction to make as both guys have flaws. The deciding factor in this fight will be Osbourne’s cardio. This has been a problem for him since he has moved down to 125-pounds. If he slows in rounds two and three, Adashev will be able to use his technical striking to pull ahead. I’ll take Adashev by decision.

Garrett: UFC Vegas 56 starts out with a unique style of a fight between Ode Osbourne and Zarrukh Adashev. On paper, you can see a clear advantage for Adashev based on his kickboxing background. However, that has not correlated to success in MMA. My concern for him is a guy like Osbourne who is MASSIVE for the division. The power he possesses should strike fear into anyone. If he can keep the fight on the outside, he should not have any issues here.

If you tell me this fight goes the distance, I would think it is Adashev. But this has finish vibes to me. Give me Osbourne by 2nd round TKO.

Alonzo Meinfield vs. Askar Mozharov (Light Heavyweight)

James: This fight continues the trend of fighters making their UFC debuts at UFC Vegas 56. In this fight, Askar Mozharov will be making his debut. Mozharov has not fought in MMA since 2020; however, in the year 2020, he had three first-round knockouts. He did have one fight in 2021 but it was in bare-knuckle boxing. In this fight, he won with an eight-second knockout, but his opponent had an MMA record of 5-16. On the other side of the cage will be Alonzo Menifield. Menifield is a perfect opponent for Mozharov. Menifield is more experienced in the UFC with 7 fights in the promotion and has tallied a 4-3 record. Menifield is not a tremendous fighter, but he will be more than willing to trade with Mozharov which will make this fight interesting.

The most accurate prediction that I could give is that this will end in a knockout. These two are likely going to come in and try to take each other out. I lean towards Mozharov because I think his leg kicks may affect Menifield early. I will take Mozharov by first-round knockout but do not be surprised if Menifield gets a finish either.

Garrett: I have a love-hate relationship with predicting fighters making their UFC debuts. I always lean towards guys with that experience and more times than not I get burned, most notably Michael Chandler. I also don’t love guys who do bare-knuckle boxing. Yes, his one fight ended with an 8-second KO but there’s no padding I am not shocked. Alonzo Meinfield has that experience plus some nice wins on his resume (Paul Craig and Ed Herman). Losing 3 of your last 5 I don’t love, but I think that drive to get back to winning ways overcomes the newbie here. I’ll take Meinfield by 2nd round TKO.

Karine Sliva vs. Poliana Botelho (Women’s Flyweight)

James: Karine Silva is also making her UFC debut in this fight against Poliana Botelho. Silva has strong submission skills on the ground, but she also is very powerful on the feet. She showcased that grappling on Dana White’s Contender Series as she attempted several gogoplatas before eventually winning via guillotine choke. Botelho has seen some struggles as of late as she dropped her last two fights taking her record to 8-4. In spite of that, her high volume striking will give her a shot against a lot of unranked fighters at women’s flyweight.

I think the power of Silva will be the difference in this fight. Not only the power of the strikes but also her physical strength in grappling exchanges. However, Silva can tire and Botelho could find success late. At the same time, I think she can use her strength to hold Botelho up against the fence if needed. That could help ease cardio issues. I will take Silva by decision, but I would not be surprised if she was able to find a finish.

Garrett: If there is one thing I love, it is someone who is great at grappling and willing to throw submissions. But when that fighter attempts multiple gogoplatas in a fight like Karine Silva did on DWCS? Give me that all day. Botelho does pose problems because she is very much a punches in bunches kind of fighter, which can overwhelm the best of them. My concern for her is if she gets caught in the grasp of Silva, her energy could get drained very quickly.

I have a hard time betting against someone who is great on the ground. If this fight is finished by KO/TKO, it is Botelho for sure. But my prediction here is Silva wears her down and gets a late submission win. Silva via 3rd round submission.

Michael Trizano vs. Lucas Almeida (Featherweight)

James: This will be Lucas Almeida’s UFC debut. It will also be his first fight at 145 pounds since 2016. Almeida has fought well on the regional scene with finishes in every win. At 13-1, his only loss came in Dana White’s Contender Series. Trizano will be a tough test for Almeida. At 10-2, his only losses have come against Hakeem Dawadou and Grant Dawson, who are both close to being ranked at 145 pounds.

Trizano is a well-rounded fighter, but he does not excel in any category. That sounds like a diss, but I think he can use that to his advantage in this fight. He should be able to outwrestle Almeida while staying safe on his feet. If he does get hit, he has the chin and toughness to stay in the fight. Trizano will also be a step up in competition for Almeida. Combine that with the fact that Almeida is going to have a tough weight cut and I think all things lean towards a Trizano decision victory.

Garrett: Man, they really did load up on first-time UFC fighters on this main card, didn’t they? Lucas Almeida will be making his UFC debut and draws a tough matchup in Michael Trizano. Almeida is a finishing machine, only going to the judges once in his 14 career pro fights. He has good power in his hands and throws combos at will. The weight class drop from 155 to 145 is a slight concern for me, but I don’t think it is enough to make me pick Trizano here. Trizano has dropped 2 of his last 3 and I believe the slide continues here. I will say, however, if Trizano can get this fight to the ground that completely changes the ballgame for him. Grind out the points and try and sneak out of UFC Vegas 56 with a decision win. My gut leans towards the new guy, don’t let me down. Almeida via 2nd round TKO.

#10 Dan Ige vs. #13 Mosvar Evloev (Featherweight)

James: This fight between No. 10 Dan Ige and No. 13 Movsar Evloev is the stereotypical fading veteran against rising prospects. Ige is the veteran and has lost three of his last four. Do not let that mislead you. His three losses are competitive fights against Calvin Kattar, Chan Sung Jung, and Josh Emmett. However, the UFC is doing Ige no favors with this booking against Evloev. Evloev is 15-0 and is one of the top prospects and best grapplers in the division.

Ige has great takedown defense, but Evloev is a different animal. Evloev is an elite wrestler that fights with constant pressure and relentlessly goes for takedowns. The chain grappling of Evloev further improves the chances that Evloev can get this fight to the ground. This all comes together to make me believe that Ige will struggle to defend all of these takedown attempts. The grappling of Evloev should lead him to a decision victory.

Garrett: Listen, I still remember how good Dan Ige looked in the early seasons of DWCS (Season 1, Episode 3). Ige is a grinder, looking for submission wins but will knock your lights out. It has been a tough go lately, but do not let his current slide fool you (3 losses in his last 4). Those losses came against legit guys (mentioned above by James). I love nothing more in MMA than to see a “veteran” stop an up-and-coming prospect and get back on their horse.

But this is a different beast. Mosvar Evloev is no one to take lightly. His 15-0 record should give you a good idea of that. If that doesn’t, how about going 9/13 in takedowns in his last fight, that fight being against Hakeem Dawodu who y’all know I am a fan of. At only 28 and training out of one of the best gyms in the world in ATT, the sky is the limit for the Russian Evloev. I think this is a finish and a finish early. Give me Evloev via 1st round submission.

UFC Vegas 56 Main Event: #7 Alexander Volkov vs. #8 Jairzinho Rozenstruik (Heavyweight)

James: This heavyweight main event at UFC Vegas 56 between No. 7 Alexander Volkov and No. 8 Jairzinho Rozenstruik is great matchmaking by the UFC. Both fighters have shown a lot of potential in promising victories. However, each has faltered against the top of the division. Now, Volkov sits at 3-2 in his last five while Rozenstruik is 2-3. The fighter that comes out on top will be given another opportunity in the top portion of the division while the loser will be forced to look for a fight outside of the top ten. There is a lot on the line for each guy.

This fight will take place entirely on the feet as each fighter relies heavily on their striking. Volkov will look to strike from the outside and utilize his height and reach advantage. He is capable of this as he has a great array of kicks that come from a variety of angles. With his hands, he has strong straight punches. Rozenstruik is the opposite as he will look to get inside and land heavy combos on the interior.

Volkov’s biggest flaw on the feet is that he is vulnerable on the inside. That could result in Rozenstruik landing a big shot that puts him out. That is exactly what happened against Derrick Lewis. I would not be surprised if Rozenstruik finds that knockout shot over the course of five rounds. However, I would rather predict that Volkov stays on the outside and invests in the body while throwing with more volume. It is also important to note that historically, Volkov performs much better against other strikers. In conclusion, I will take Volkov by decision.

Garrett: The UFC Vegas 56 main event is not for those who enjoy fighters who get the fight to the ground. Both men are practically allergic to the mat, so both men will gladly stand and bang. If there is a clear advantage here, it goes to Volkov with his reach. We all saw what happens when a powerful fighter gets inside his range (see Derrick Lewis fight). James covered a god part of this fight, and I think his prediction is spot on. If Volkov keeps the range, I don’t see it being a long night. I’ll take Volkov via 4th round TKO.

There we have it! Have any thoughts, disagree, or want to let us know how smart we are? Use that new comment button at the bottom of our posts to let us know!

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