Contenders in the UFC heavyweight division faced off in the co-main event at UFC Las Vegas on Saturday as Alexander Volkov faced Alexandr Romanov.
The two Alexanders could not be more different in fight style. Romanov is a bulky, powerful wrestler who takes down opponents and smashes them while Volkov is a lanky kickboxer who uses his length to beat opponents up from outside. This was a big opportunity for the fourteenth ranked Romanov to advance several spots in the rankings against the number eight heavyweight in Volkov.
Volkov walked forward to start but was met with a takedown attempt from Romanov. They went back to the fence, crashing into it, but Romanov could not get “Drago” down initially as Volkov stuffed the head. After half a minute, Volkov broke free and landed a kick that hurt Romanov somewhat. Volkov stalked him and Romanov fell down as he ate a right hand, reaching forward for a leg. Volkov moved to his back and surprisingly looked to grapple. Volkov rained down ground and pound while Romanov turtled up, moving at the last second to avoid the fight being stopped. Volkov continued to work the position and then flattened out Romanov completely. Only a few more punches had to be dropped before Mark Smith stepped in and stopped the fight.
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Romanov looked like a shell of his former self in this fight, falling apart the moment he met resistance. The former bright prospect still has potential, but needs to do some work to sort out his game before getting back in the octagon. It was noted ahead of the bout that his weight had fluctuated from 261, to the 240s, then back up to just shy of the heavyweight limit.
Alexander Volkov, meanwhile, proved he is still a top-10 heavyweight and not an easy win for up and comers by beating Romanov in the first just like he did Jairzinho Rozenstruik before him.
Official Result: Alexander Volkov def. Alexandr Romanov by TKO (ground and pound), Round 1, 2:16