Jairzinho Rozenstruik is one of the biggest punchers in the UFC. The Surinamese heavyweight has 11 knockouts among his 12 professional victories, including eight in the first round.
But there isn’t much to Rozenstruik’s game beyond his concussive power, and that’s led to three losses in his last five fights. He fights Alexander Volkov on Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 56 at Apex in Las Vegas and has vowed to end his losing ways.
If he does score the upset — Volkov is a -150 favorite at BetMGM, with Rozenstruik at +125 — it’s probably going to be by knockout.
The odds are interesting. Rozenstruik by KO is +200. Picking him to win by KO in a specific round is a lot tougher, but the payouts are far more attractive. He’s +650 to win by KO in Round 1, +900 in Round 2, +1200 in Round 3, +1800 in Round 4 and +2500 in Round 5. Rozenstruik to win in 60 seconds or less is a staggering +3500.
Given that 72.7 percent of his knockouts have come in the first round, it might make sense to take him to win by KO in the first at +650. Volkov, though, is difficult to KO. He’s fought 44 times as a professional, going 34-10, and has only been KO’d twice.
The first came in 2013 at Bellator 108 when he was knocked out in the first by Vitaly Minakov. The second came at UFC 229 in 2018 when he was stopped by a great Derrick Lewis rally late in the third.
Rozenstruik will KO Volkov if he lands on the chin, but Volkov is the better technical striker and will use his kicks to keep Rozenstruik at bay.
I don’t see Rozenstruik winning this fight, even with all of that power. But with Volkov being inconsistent, it’s not inconceivable the Russian could make a mistake that Rozenstruik capitalizes on.
So I’ll bet that the fight goes the distance at +120. I’m willing to take the risk that Volkov can defend against the home run shot from Rozenstruik. And I think betting the distance is akin to a Volkov wins bet, because it’s unlikely Volkov can finish Rozenstruik.
So instead of laying -150 on Volkov to win, I can bet the fight to go the distance at +120 and have essentially the same wager.
Other bets for UFC Vegas 56
• I’ll lay the -200 and bet Movsar Evloev to win by decision over Dan Ige.
• I will lay the -190 and bet Ode Osbourne to win over Zarrukh Adashev, who is +155. I’ll also lay -140 and play that the fight goes over 2.5 rounds.