Alexander Volkov isn’t bothered by any discussion about whether or not his victory over Jairzinho Rozenstruik was an early stoppage.
The Russian heavyweight rebounded from his March loss to Tom Aspinall by stopping Rozenstruik in the first round of their main event bout at UFC Vegas 56. Rozenstruik was still on his feet when the fight was stopped, and “Bigi Boy” appeared to protest referee Herb Dean’s interference.
Volkov was largely dismissive when asked about the stoppage at the post-fight presser but did note he was prepared to carry on if necessary.
“It’s not my fault anyway,” Volkov said. “Referee stop this bout, you know? He like, go out of me after stoppage. In the moment I hit him, he was a little bit knocked out so he wasn’t like fully fresh, so anyway it was a big opportunity to knock him out to the end because he was almost on the mat. I was ready to throw him down and continue my work.”
Volkov stopped Rozenstruik just over two minutes into the first round. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Rozenstruik was staggered by some hard shots during the finishing exchange that also sent his mouth guard flying, which may have influenced Herb Dean’s decision to step in. Whatever the case, Volkov is satisfied knowing he accomplished what he entered the cage to do.
“So anyway, he was in bad position. Referee stop this fight, but anyway he was like in a really bad position and he takes some of my hard punches. And he was little bit knocked out, so it’s not my fault. Ask about this with referee, not me. I just did my job.”
Rozenstruik has now lost consecutive fights for the first time in his MMA career. After starting his UFC tenure with four stoppage wins, “Bigi Boy” is now 2-4 in his last 6 fights dating back to his knockout loss to Francis Ngannou in 2020.
Volkov was ranked as the UFC’s #7 heavyweight contender heading into this bout, and “Drago” has yet to lose back-to-back fights since joining the UFC in 2017.
What do you think of the finish in Volkov vs. Rozenstruik? Was it an early stoppage in your opinion?