On Saturday at UFC Las Vegas, Alexander Volkov and Alexandr Romanov competed in the co-main event as heavyweight contenders.
There is no way to overstate how differently the two Alexanders battle. Volkov is a lanky kickboxer who uses his length to beat opponents up from the outside while Romanov is a robust and bulky wrestler who knocks down and smashes opponents. For the fourteenth-ranked Romanov, who was up against Volkov, the eighth-ranked heavyweight, this was a significant chance to climb the rankings.
Romanov attempted to take down Volkov as he initially moved forward. Romanov originally struggled to subdue “Drago” because Volkov had stuffed his head as they crashed into the fence on their way back. After thirty seconds, Volkov managed to escape and strike Romanov, who was slightly injured. Romanov collapsed as Volkov pursued him, eating his right hand and reaching for a limb. Surprisingly, Volkov shifted to his back and appeared to wrestle. Romanov froze and moved at the last second to escape the fight being stopped as Volkov rained down ground and pound. Volkov kept working on the situation before completely flattening Romanov. Before Mark Smith intervened and broke up the brawl, only a few more blows were exchanged.
In this battle, Romanov appeared to be a shell of his former self, crumbling as soon as he encountered opposition. Although he needs to improve on his game before returning to the octagon, the former promising prospect still has potential. Before the fight, it was reported that his weight had changed from 261 pounds to the mid-240s and back up to just under the heavyweight limit.
In contrast, Alexander Volkov, who previously defeated Jairzinho Rozenstruik, demonstrated that he is still a top-10 heavyweight and is not a fight that novices can easily win.
Results from UFC Fight Night 221 include:
- Jared Gooden is defeated by Carlston Harris in a unanimous vote (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- At 1:23 in Round 2, Bruno Silva beats Tyson Nam via technical submission (rear-naked choke).
- JJ Aldrich is defeated by Ariane Lipski in an 8-1 decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Tony Gravely is defeated by Victor Henry in a divided decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- At 3:00 in Round 2, Josh Fremd submits Sedriques Dumas through a guillotine hold.
- At 4:43 in Round 3, Davey Grant submits Raphael Assunço with a reverse triangle choke.
- Karl Williams wins by a unanimous vote over Lukasz Brzeski (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
- Anton Turkalj is defeated by Vitor Petrino in a majority decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- At 3:18 in Round 1, Mario Bautista beats Guido Cannetti through submission (rear-naked choke).
- Said Nurmagomedov is defeated by Jonathan Martinez in a majority decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- At 3:38 in the first round, Nikita Krylov submits Ryan Spann with a triangle hold.
- In the co-main event, Alexander Volkov TKOs Alexandr Romanov with strikes at 2:16 in the first round.
- Merab Dvalishvili beats Petr Yan in the main event with a resounding victory (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)