While there wasn’t all that much hype around last night’s UFC Fight Night event, it turned out to be one of the most exciting cards of 2022 thus far.
Incredibly, UFC Fight Night: Alexander Volkov vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik featured no fewer than nine finishes up and down the card, with the majority of them coming in explosive fashion.
While there was mild controversy around the result of the headline bout, the same can’t be said for the majority of last night’s fights, which were finished violently.
With that in mind, here are the five most explosive finishes from UFC Fight Night: Alexander Volkov vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
#5. Karine Silva drops and submits Poliana Botelho in her UFC debut
UFC debutant Karine Silva came into her bout with Poliana Botelho with a big reputation as a finisher, thanks to her record of 14-4 with none of her victories going the distance. However, few fans could’ve expected her to look as impressive as she did last night.
Despite giving up plenty of octagon experience to Botelho, Silva looked calm throughout the bout and clearly got the better of her opponent on the feet. However, it was what ‘Killer Karine’ did once she landed cleanly that made her performance truly stand out.
A right hand appeared to connect and drop Botelho late in the first round, and before the veteran could even attempt to recover, Silva was on her with a series of hammer fists and an arm triangle attempt.
Botelho was able to sit out to avoid that, only to find herself quickly caught in a brabo choke, and despite only five seconds being left in the round, she was forced to tap out, looking seemingly panicked in the process.
This was an excellent octagon debut for Silva, who put her opponent away in explosive fashion. Hopefully it won’t be long before we get to see her in action again, as she appears to be a genuinely excellent prospect in the thin women’s flyweight division.
#4. Alonzo Menifield crushes UFC debutant Askar Mozharov with some brutal elbows
Prior to last night’s event, there was a lot of discussion around UFC debutant Askar Mozharov. In a strange turn of events, his MMA record was downgraded from 25-7 to 19-12 due to him changing his name a few years back.
This meant that there was more pressure on him to perform well in his UFC light heavyweight bout with Alonzo Menifield. Unfortunately for him, it was ‘Atomic’ who delivered the goods with a pretty brutal first round stoppage.
Menifield, who had shown issues on the ground in his previous UFC outings, actually shot in early and slammed the newcomer to the ground. From there, he began to work from the top with a steady series of punches and elbows.
When Mozharov managed to reverse position and escape to his feet, Menifield wasted no time in quickly taking him back down, and this time, he really went to work. Securing a mounted crucifix, ‘Atomic’ began to open up with some thudding elbows that damaged the newcomer’s face, forcing referee Herb Dean to quickly bring a halt to proceedings.
This was a brutal showing from Menifield, who was reportedly angered by the controversy around Mozharov’s record. While it seems unlikely that we’ll see Mozharov in the octagon again, it should be interesting to see what Menifield can do next time out.
#3. Ode' Osbourne wastes no time in taking out Zarrukh Adashev
Prior to last night’s event, Jamaican flyweight Ode' Osbourne had seen an up-and-down UFC career, going 2-2 over a period of two years and competing in three different weight classes in the process.
However, he looked more focused and intense than he’d ever done before coming into his clash with Zarrukh Adashev last night, and was able to pick up an explosive win, giving him two octagon victories in a row for the first time, as well as a $50k performance bonus.
It didn’t take ‘The Jamaican Sensation’ long at all to deliver the goods when the fight began. Both men looked happy to exchange, but Adashev not only looked a little stiff on the feet, he also looked reckless – and ended up paying the price.
He threw a glancing right hand at Osbourne, only for the Jamaican to quickly counter with a short right hand that turned his lights out in an instant. Adashev was clearly done, but Osbourne didn’t want to risk anything and finished him off with a series of nasty shots on the ground.
This was an excellent showing from Osbourne, and with him now competing at a more natural 125 pounds, we could well see him make some noise in the future. If nothing else, he’s clearly got the potential and explosive ability to do so.
#2. Tony Gravely picks up his fourth UFC win by turning out Johnny Munoz’s lights
Probably the cleanest knockout from last night’s show came from bantamweight prospect Tony Gravely, who picked up his fourth UFC win by switching the lights off on Johnny Munoz in just over a minute.
On the first viewing, it was actually difficult to see quite what Gravely landed to cause Munoz to drop to the ground, but what wasn’t questionable at all was the way that he finished his foe off, as he pounced and pummelled him with punches to the head to force a stoppage from referee Chris Tognoni.
A replay confirmed exactly what had landed to cause Munoz to drop: a perfectly-timed short right uppercut to the jaw that landed cleanly on the jaw, the kind of shot that probably would’ve finished most fighters.
Quite how far Gravely can go in the bantamweight division remains to be seen, as he has been finished twice in the octagon before. Nevertheless, it’s clear that he carries nasty knockout power and that makes him a man to watch for sure.
#1. Lucas Almeida survives a scare to destroy Michael Trizano in devastating fashion
Last night’s Fight of the Night award went to a truly wild featherweight clash between Lucas Almeida and Michael Trizano. While both men came away with an extra $50k, it was the explosive debutant Almeida who came away with his hand raised.
It didn’t look like that would be the case early on. After a back-and-forth first round, Trizano landed a combination that had Almeida badly hurt, and he wobbled around like a drunk on ice for a second before going down. Trizano pounced for the finish, but before he could seal the deal, the round ended.
If Trizano thought he had the fight in the bag, though, he was sorely mistaken. Despite pressing the action in the second round, it was Almeida who did the most damage by knocking the TUF 27 winner down with a combination before busting him wide open with a salvo of follow-up punches.
‘The Lone Wolf’ did do enough to survive that barrage, but early in the third round, in another wild exchange, Almeida landed a crushing left hand that hurt Trizano badly, sending him crashing to the ground where the Brazilian swiftly finished him off.
This was an excellent and explosive debut for Almeida, as he not only finished Trizano, but he showed impressive toughness, durability and a remarkable killer instinct to do so. With a record of 14-1, he’s definitely a prospect the UFC should look to push forward in the near future.