The UFC picked up right where it left off following a weekend without an event. The action was nonstop at UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Rozenstruik. Emphatic knockouts, crafty submissions, entertaining wars, and of course, a little bit of controversy, the world leader in MMA really delivered with this relatively overlooked card.
Starting with female flyweights, ending with action from the heavyweights, and other intriguing matchups in between, this fight night event really covered a lot of what the UFC has to offer.
These fighters made the most of it inside the cage and really put it all on the line. Though all the fights were exciting, there were some stoppages that really stuck out to the fans in attendance.
Here are the five best finishes from UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Rozenstruik.
#5. Erin Blanchfield secures the submission at UFC Fight Night
Ask and you shall receive. After being called out by J.J. Aldrich, Erin Blanchfield welcomed the idea of the fight. Sure enough, the two were slated against each other in the first fight of the night. With two surging flyweights scheduled to yank the curtain for the UFC's return to action, fans were eager to watch whatever unfolded at the event.
Aldrich held her own in the first round, despite being a significant betting underdog. At only 23 years of age, 'Cold Blooded' showed her ability to pivot and adapt as the fight took place.
The 18-years-old Blanchfield won an Eddie Bravo Invitational tournament and really showcased her elite-level jiu-jitsu. These skills spelled the beginning of the end for Aldrich after she left her neck exposed. A high-elbow guillotine choke was locked in and with Aldrich's back trapped against the fence, she eventually tapped out. Erin Blanchfield improved her record to 9-1 and secured her first stoppage victory in the promotion.
#4. Karolina Kowalkiewicz submits Felice Herrig
Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Felice Herrig met for the second time this past weekend. The two first met in 2018 and saw Poland's Kowalkiewicz on the better side of a split decision victory. Following this victory, she went on to lose her next five fights.
The losing streak didn't affect Kowalkiewicz in the rematch against Herrig. She was fast, accurate, and ferocious. Though 'Lil Bulldog' looked game and was self-admittedly feeling great, she was simply overwhelmed by Kowalkiewicz, who was the better fighter that night.
Around the midway point of the fight, the Pole took her opponent's back and did not let up after attaining this dominant position. Cycling between submission attempts and heavy strikes, Herrig left her neck exposed and was forced to tap out. This submission marks the resurgence of Kowalkiewicz's career and the end of Herrig's.
#3. Ode Osbourne with another first-round finish
Nothing is certain in an MMA fight, but if there's anything close to it, then it's Ode Osbourne winning in the first round. Nine of his 11 wins have been stoppage victories, and eight of these came within the opening five minutes.
This rang true as he stepped into the octagon against Zarrukh Adashev for this Fight Night event. 'The Jamaican Sensation' didn't need much time to find his range as he appeared very comfortable avoiding strikes with his hands down.
Right as the commentators were discussing his defense, Osbourne landed a looping right hand from an angle that was hard for Adashev to see coming. This shot floored 'The Lion' and the follow-up strikes rendered him unconscious, declaring Osbourne the winner in round one yet again.
#2. Lucas Almeida wins his debut
Although his performance on Dana White's Contender Series didn't go his way, the boss kept an eye on the Brazilian fighter. Almeida was awarded a shot in the UFC after winning his next fight on the show. His opponent Michael Trizano proved to be quite the test for the debutant.
In what was the most exciting fight of the event, Trizano and Almeida traded punches and kicks, resulting in each scoring knockdowns at the expense of the other. However, it was the newcomer that seemed to have the edge over the more-experienced Trizano.
Almeida began finding a lot of success with his lead hook. He landed this strike multiple times and put Trizano down early in the third round. The Brazilian followed his dazed adversary to the mat and finished the fight with follow-up strikes to earn the TKO victory.
#1. Alexander Volkov returns to his winning ways
The titular main event of the night saw Alexander Volkov and Jairzinho Rozenstruik look to gather some momentum and come out of their losing ways. Although there could only be one winner, both fighters looked rather revitalized in the short span of time that they were able to perform.
Both fighters seemed calculated but were very willing to trade strikes. Rozenstruik entered with a flurry but didn't find much success against the 6'7" Volkov. However, once the Russian pressured his opponent close to the fence, he threw a ferocious combination that took the legs out from under Rozenstruik.
Though the stoppage may have been a bit premature, it was in Rozenstruik's best interest that the fight was stopped by Herb Dean. 'Bigi Boy' didn't look as aware as he should have after getting rocked by Volkov's punches. With his hand raised once again, 'Drago' proved that he's still a threat against the rest of the heavyweight division.