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UFC Vegas 56: Volkov vs. Rozenstruik

By Ryan Nadrajan

Fight fans rejoice, the UFC is back this Saturday after taking a rare week off. The good news is that there are 10 straight weekends of confirmed fight cards after this event. This weekend UFC Vegas 56 will be headlined by heavyweights Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. The prelims are set to begin at 10 AM PST/ 1 PM EST and the main card takes off at 1 PM PST/ 4 PM EST. **Note to Canadian Viewers - This event will not air on TSN and is available exclusively only on UFC Fight Pass**

The second fight on the prelims features UFC newcomer Rinat Fakhretdinov (18-1), who in January of 2021, impressed Dana White and Khabib Nurmagomedov during his showcase at UAE Warriors 15, which also appeared on Dana White’s Looking For a Fight show. It only took Rinat 55 seconds to flatline former UFC fighter Eric Spicely. Immediately after the fight, Rinat was offered a contract by the UFC and fans have since been patiently waiting for his debut. He takes on Greece’s Andreas Michaildis (13-5), who has struggled in the promotion going 1-2. There was some buzz when Michaildis first arrived on the scene but has failed to live up to the expectations. His only win came via decision over K.B. Bhullar, a fighter who simply didn’t belong in the company. Fakhretdinov may show some “debut jitters” but should get into the rhythm after the first few minutes and have his way with Michaildis. Since it is his first fight there is always a chance that he may be too cautious so I won’t be taking him by finish but I am confident he will have his arm raised, regardless of the method.

Movsar Evloev (15-0) brings his unbeaten streak into the co-main event against Dan Ige (15-5). Dan Ige has truly become one of the gatekeepers of the featherweight division. His biggest victory is over Edson Barboza via a split decision in which much of the MMA community disagreed with the result. With losses to Calvin Kattar, Chan Sung Jung, and Josh Emmit he just hasn’t been able to make the leap to be considered a threat in the 145lb division. He also has never really fought a true wrestler like Evloev. Ige was taken down easily by the Korean Zombie and controlled for over 10 minutes in their fight, and if that's any indication Evloev shouldn't have a problem with a cookie-cutter game plan. My only concern is that Evloev showed in his last fight against Dawodu that he can tend to slow down as the fight progresses, but he should be able to bank two rounds to get himself the win.

I am going to piece the two Russians together in a parlay.

Pick: Fakhretdinov/Evloev Parlay -142 (Betway)

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