Jairzinho Rozenstruik Knocks Out Augusto Sakai in UFC Fight Night 189 Headliner

By Tristen Critchfield Jun 5, 2021

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As far as first-round knockouts go, this one was about as patient as they come for Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

The Surinamese heavyweight waited for his opportunity, then put Augusto Sakai away in the blink of an eye, winning via technical knockout 4:59 into the opening frame of their UFC Fight Night 189 headlining encounter at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night. That makes 11 career KO/TKO victories for “Bigi Boi,” who was coming off a tepid five-round loss to Ciryl Gane at UFC Fight Night 186 in February.

From the beginning, Rozenstruik (12-2, 6-2 UFC) took the center of the Octagon, and he patiently stalked Sakai (15-3-1, 4-2 UFC) for the majority of the opening round. The Brazilian muay Thai specialist landed periodic low kicks but for the most part was reluctant to engage. It wasn’t until the waning seconds of the period that Rozenstruik found his opening, when he dropped a circling Sakai with a left hook-right hand combination. Four heavy follow-up shots followed on the dazed Sakai before referee Herb Dean stepped in to call the fight.

After winning his first four promotional outings, Sakai has dropped back-to-back bouts.

Tybura Overwhelms Harris for Fifth Consecutive Triumph

Marcin Tybura continues to build momentum in the UFC’s heavyweight division.

The former M-1 Global champion survived an initial onslaught from Walt Harris, then imposed his will on the canvas to win via technical knockout in the UFC Fight Night 189 co-main event. Tybura brought the show to a close with punches from back mount at the 4:06 mark of Round 1. After losing four of five Octagon appearances from 2017 to 2019, the 35-year-old Pole has won five consecutive fights.

As he often does, Harris (13-10, 6-9, 1 NC UFC) sprinted for the finish in Round 1, wobbling Tybura with a spinning backfist before stunning him again with a punch during an ensuing blitz. Tybura’s chin held up, however, and he turned the tide when he caught a kick and dumped Harris to the mat. From there, Tybura (22-6, 9-5 UFC) worked his way to back control, gradually breaking Harris’ will with a steady stream of ground-and-pound. Once he secured both hooks and flattened Harris out, it was only a matter of time before the bout was halted.

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Dolidze Stymies Staropoli

Roman Dolidze earned his first UFC middleweight victory, taking a relatively uneventful unanimous decision over Argentina’s Laureano Staropoli behind a trio of 30-27 tallies. The 32-year-old Georgian went 2-0 at light heavyweight before falling to Trevin Giles in his 185-pound debut in March.

In a bout where action came at a premium, Dolidze (9-1, 3-1 UFC) earned the nod from the judges thanks to a significant amount of positional control. In both the first and second rounds, the Xtreme Couture representative was able to neutralize his foe with a rear body lock, and while Dolidze didn’t offer much offense from there, it was more than enough to build up a significant lead on the scorecards. Staropoli (9-4, 2-3 UFC), meanwhile, was never able to get enough separation to threaten his opponent as he lost his third consecutive UFC appearance.

Ponzinibbio Rallies, Wins Slugfest Over Baeza

About halfway through his welterweight clash with Miguel Baeza, Santiago Ponzinibbio found another gear.

That ability to persevere through adversity propelled the Argentina native to a hard-fought unanimous decision over Baeza in what could end up on many “Fight of the Year” lists by the end of 2021. All three judges saw that contest 29-28 in favor of “Gente Boa,” who earned his first UFC victory since November 2018.

Baeza (10-1, 3-1 UFC) was in control early, as he hindered Ponzinibbio’s movement with calf kicks before attacking with crisp punching combinations to the head. After Baeza stunned Ponzinibbio with a right hand early in Round 2, the contest appeared to be all but over. Instead, the American Top Team representative dug deep and put Baeza on his heels with a spirited headhunting effort. Ponzinibbio (28-4, 10-3 UFC) continued to be the aggressor in Round 3, working behind his jab and never allowing his foe to get as comfortable as he was in the opening frame. The bout ended with a wild slugfest in the waning moments, and once again it was Ponzinibbio landing the more significant shots up until the final horn.

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Rodrigues Battles Past Todorovic

Former Legacy Fighting Alliance middleweight king Gregory Rodrigues enjoyed a successful Octagon debut, earning a unanimous decision over Serbia’s Dusko Todorovic in a battle of Dana White’s Contender Series alums. Rodrigues (10-3, 1-0 UFC) earned scorecards of 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 for his second victory within a three-week span.

Rodrigues found plenty of openings throughout the contest, as he repeatedly tagged Todorovic (10-2, 1-2 UFC) with hard right hands and left hooks. Todorovic’s chin held up to Rodrigues’ power, but he failed in his attempts to drag his Brazilian foe to the canvas, which led to him being generally outgunned on the feet. Todorovic has now lost back-to-back fights in UFC competition.

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De La Rosa Mounts, Smashes Lipski

“The Ultimate Fighter 26” cast member Montana De La Rosa dominated former KSW champion Ariane Lipski en route to the first technical knockout victory of her career in a featured flyweight contest. The Elevation Fight Team representative forced the stoppage with a barrage of punches and elbows from mount at the 4:27 mark of Round 2. De La Rosa’s five 125-pound victories are tied for the fourth most in the history of the division.

After a tentative beginning, De La Rosa (12-6-1, 5-2-1 UFC) punched her way into the clinch and secured the fight’s first takedown in Round 1. From top position, she imposed her will, opening a cut near Lipski’s left eye with an elbow before the end of the period. De La Rosa wasted little time bringing Lipski (13-7, 2-4 UFC) into her world in the second frame, as she grounded her foe within 15 seconds and remained busy with ground-and-pound for most of the round before passing to full mount. Once there, the intensity of her attack increased until referee Keith Peterson was forced to step in on Lipski’s behalf.

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