Jairzinho Rozenstruik is still a dangerous man. That was the final lesson learned at UFC Vegas 28 where the Suriname native wiped out Augusto Sakai right at the end of the first round.
Most of the round was run at a relatively slow pace. Sakai threw just 14 strikes in the round as he tried to keep things on the outside. Bigi Boy continued to push forward and throw strikes, though, clearly playing the role of aggressor.
It paid off in a big way right at the end of the round. Rozenstruik landed a quick two-punch combo buzzer-beater as the fight was waved off with just one second to go in the round.
The knockout gets Rozenstruik back on the right track after he lost two of his last three. He lost a decision to Cyril Gane in which he was too hesitant to win rounds and just looked for the knockout shot.
This was a different story. He saw that Sakai was going to be tentative and easily slid into the role of headhunter. The results spoke for themselves.
Sakai—on the other hand—now has back-to-back losses for the first time in his career.
Here's a look at the rest of the action that went down in Las Vegas on Saturday.
- Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Augusto Sakai via TKO at 4:59 of Round 1
- Marcin Tybura def. Walt Harris via TKO at 4:06 of Round 1
- Roman Dolidze def. Laureano Staropoli via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Miguel Baeza via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Gregory Rodrigues def. Dusko Todorovic via unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
- Montana De La Rosa def. Ariane Lipski via TKO at 4:27 of Round 2
- Ilir Latifi def. Tanner Boser via split decision (29-28 x2, 27-29)
- Muslim Salikhov def. Francisco Trinaldo via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Kamuela Kirk def. Makwan Amirkhani via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
- Mason Jones vs. Alan Patrick ends in no-contest (eye poke) at 2:14 of Round 2
- Manon Fiorot vs. Tabatha Ricci via TKO at 3:00 of Round 2
- Sean Woodson def. Youssef Zalal via split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
- Claudio Puelles def. Jordan Leavitt via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Marcin Tybura def. Walt Harris
The heavyweight co-main event between Marcin Tybura and Walt Harris was a tale of two halves in one round.
Harris came out hot, landing some heavy punches that had Tybura on skates, and looked like he was going to break out of his current losing streak. Then things quickly turned against him.
Tybura shot for a takedown in a somewhat desperate attempt to survive. Once he landed it, though, he quickly switched from just getting by to starting to win the fight. He worked his way into taking Harris' back and started throwing punches until he drew the finish.
Tybura has now made it five wins in a row. The last two fights have come by way of TKO. He also finished Greg Hardy in the second round. The heavyweight division is always in need of players at the top, and Tybura is beginning to knock on that door.
Roman Dolidze def. Laureano Staropoli
While the Santiago Ponzinibbio and Miguel Baeza fight was an example of one where both fighters win, the Roman Dolidze-Laureano Staropoli fight was one in which there wasn't really a winner.
Dolidze got his hand raised, sure. But it was after landing 14 significant strikes over the course of three rounds. That's not even one significant strike per minute.
What the Georgian did do is completely nullify his opponent, who only landed nine significant strikes. He landed five takedowns and was able to hold more dominant positions.
On some level, a win is a win. Dolidze will get the opportunity to improve on his performance because he's putting together a winning streak. But he'll need to figure out how to improve his output and be more aggressive if he's to become a factor in his division.
Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Miguel Baeza
Santiago Ponzinibbio showed he isn't quite done yet, pulling out a hard-fought decision in a fun fight with prospect Miguel Baeza.
Ponzinibbio was on a tepid seven-fight winning streak in 2018 before multiple injuries and illnesses kept him out of the cage for nearly three years. He returned in January, but Li Jingliang knocked him out.
That loss didn't appear to hurt his confidence. He and Baeza threw heavy leather at each other for three rounds in a back-and-forth fight in which they landed a combined 226 strikes.
Ultimately, Ponzinibbio's head-hunting yielded more damage than Baeza's heavy leg-kick approach and gave him the edge on the scorecards.
This is the kind of fight that shouldn't hurt Baeza's stock too much. When Ponzinibbio is on, he's a dangerous fighter in the division. The 28-year-old was handed his first loss, but doing it in an exciting fight is going to keep his stock afloat.
Gregory Rodrigues def. Dusko Todorovic
Gregory Rodrigues had no problem looking the part of a UFC fighter. Making his UFC debut on just two weeks' notice, Rodrigues picked apart Dusko Todorovic on the feet to score a convincing unanimous-decision win.
Todorovic was originally slated to take on Maki Pitolo. The Hawaiian had lost three straight fights. Instead, Todorovic got a former LFA champion on short notice.
The 27-year-old is quickly in a rut. He came into the UFC at 9-0 and won his debut but has now dropped two fights in a row. His defensive deficiencies were exposed for a second consecutive fight. He lost by first-round TKO in January.
Rodrigues is a prospect worth keeping an eye on after he put together a solid performance against another strong prospect in the middleweight division.
Montana De La Rosa def. Ariane Lipski
The evolution of Montana De La Rosa since her switch to Team Elevation continued with a dominant TKO win over Ariane Lipski to kick off the main card.
De La Rosa's pressure was simply too much for Lipski, and she dominated the grappling element of the fight. Ultimately, she was able to secure mount position and rained down strikes until she drew the stoppage win.
This is the first time De La Rosa has won by knockout in her 19 professional fights.
After starting her UFC career with three straight wins, De La Rosa dropped two of her next three fights with losses to Andrea Lee and Viviane Araujo. After the loss to the latter, she made the switch to a new gym and has shown development in the following two fights.
If she can carry this aggression into her next bout, she could reach the potential she showed early in her career.