UFC on ESPN+ 44: Rozenstruick vs. Gane Preview

UFC will conclude their month of heavyweight main events on Saturday, presenting two rising stars in the 265-pound division. Headlining a 10-fight card from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Jairzinho Rozenstruick and Ciryl Gane will compete in what could be a five-round bout.

Here is a full preview of the card.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Preliminary Card (5:00PM EST / 2:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 1: Dustin Jacoby (13-4) vs. Maxim Grishin (31-8-2) (Light Heavyweight)

Light heavyweights Dustin Jacoby and Maxim Grishin will kick off UFC’s four-fight preliminary card. Both fighters will be returning after picking up a win in their last bout.

Jacoby made his return to the UFC in October, competing for the promotion for the first time since he had a three-fight stint from 2011 to 2012. He picked up a stoppage win in the performance, finishing Justin Ledet within a round with strikes.

Grishin earned a finish victory in his last showing as well, defeating Gadzhimurad Antigulov in October. Grishin was returning after losing his UFC debut to Marcin Tybura in July.

Grishin missed weight greatly for Saturday’s bout, coming in four pounds over the non-championship light heavyweight limit.

Bout 2: Ronnie Lawrence (6-1) vs. Vince Cachero (7-3) (Bantamweight)

Ronnie Lawrence will make his UFC debut on Saturday, fighting Vince Cachero in a bantamweight bout.

Lawrence earned his UFC contract in September, defeating Jose Johnson on “Dana White’s Contender Series.”

Cachero will be competing in a bout with a full fight camp for the first time since joining the UFC. The 31-year-old’s promotional debut came in August, being a short-notice replacement to fight Jamall Emmers. The bout didn’t go Cahcero’s way, as he lost via unanimous decision.

Bout 3: Alexis Davis (19-10) vs. Sabina Mazo (9-1) (Bantamweight)

Alexis Davis will attempt to break a three-fight skid in her return to the cage, fighting Sabina Mazo on Saturday’s prelims.

Davis’ fight on Saturday is set to be her first appearance since July of 2019. In her return, she inherits a three-fight losing streak that she developed from 2018 to 2019.

On the flipside, Mazo will attempt to extend her win streak of three fights. She picked up her first stoppage UFC win in September, submitting Justine Kish with a rear naked choke.

Bout 4: Alexander Hernandez (12-3) vs. Thiago Moises (14-4) (Lightweight)

UFC’s shorter-than-usual prelims will conclude with a lightweight bout between Alexander Hernandez and Thiago Moises.

Moises enters Saturday’s fight after a successful 2020. The 25-year-old picked up two wins in the year, submitting Michael Johnson and taking a decision win against Bobby Green. The last year of fights for Moises was a great improvement as opposed to his rookie year in the promotion which saw him win one fight and lose two.

Hernandez returns to the cage after being on both ends of a finish in his past two bouts. After getting stopped by Drew Dober back in May, Hernandez bounced back in October with a victory over Chris Gruetzemacher.

Main Card (8:00PM EST / 5:00PM PST) (ESPN+ / TSN 5)

Bout 5: Alex Caceres (17-12) vs. Kevin Croom (21-12) (Featherweight)

UFC veteran Alex Caceres will kick off the main card with a featherweight bout against Kevin Croom. Caceres has played a gatekeeper role as of late, picking up wins over names like Chase Hooper and Austin Springer (who was stepping in for Giga Chikadze).

Croom had a successful UFC debut last year, catching Roosevelt Roberts within a minute to submit him with a guillotine choke. However, the explosive entrance into the promotion was halted months later after as a Nevada Athletic Commission drug test to Croom detected marijuana, causing the fight to get overturned to a no contest.

Bout 6: Angela Hill (12-9) vs. Ashley Yoder (8-6) (Strawweight)

In what was somewhat of a late addition to the card, strawweights Angela Hill and Ashley Yoder will compete. Hill has fallen into a two-fight skid recently after split decision losses to Claudia Gadelha and Michelle Waterson. The latter of her two losses, a fight against Waterson, was a close five-round striking battle over the summer.

Hill was scheduled to compete in December against Tecia Torres, although that plan was scrapped after she tested positive for COVID-19.

Yoder will compete after picking up a win in her last fight. The 33-year-old snapped a two-fight losing streak in November by defeating Miranda Granger on scorecards.

Bout 7: Pedro Munhoz (18-5) vs. Jimmie Rivera (23-4) (Bantamweight)

A rematch between Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera will take place on Saturday night. The bantamweight contenders will meet for the first time in over five years in the fight.

The first bout between the two was a win for Rivera, as he picked up a split decision victory in 2015 to earn what was only his second UFC victory at the time.

Fast forward to recent years, Rivera is looking to build off of a decision win against Cody Stamann that he earned last year. The win for Rivera was his first victory since 2018.

Munhoz has lost his last two fights against talented bantamweights in soon-to-be title challenger Aljamain Sterling and former champ Frankie Edgar.

Bout 8: Montana De La Rosa (11-6) vs. Mayra Bueno Silva (7-1) (Flyweight)

The sole flyweight fight on the card will see Montana De La Rosa fight Mayra Bueno Silva.

De La Rosa’s last bout was a decision loss to Viviane Araujo in September. She was meant to face Taila Santos in December, but that plan was scrapped after a cornerman tested positive for COVID-19.

Bueno Silva had a win and a loss each last year. After dropping a decision to Maryna Moroz, Bueno Silva returned with an armbar win against Mara Romero Borella.

Bout 9: Nikita Krylov (27-7) vs. Magomed Ankalaev (14-1) (Light Heavyweight)

Magomed Ankalaev will wager the momentum of his light heavyweight win streak in the co-main event, fighting Nikita Krylov.

Ankalaev has had a strong UFC run so far. After losing his 2018 debut, he has since picked up five consecutive wins, including four via stoppage. Ankalaev fought twice last year, defeating Ion Cutelaba in a controversial first meeting and then a decisive second matchup.

Krylov will be competing in the fifth fight of his current UFC stint. His current run has resulted in two wins and two losses thus far. His last bout was back in March of 2020, where he defeated Johnny Walker via decision.

Bout 10: Jairzinho Rozenstruick (11-1) vs. Ciryl Gane (7-0) (Heavyweight)

Undefeated heavyweight Ciryl Gane will compete in his first UFC main event on Saturday, fighting fellow contender Jairzinho Rozenstruick.

Gane’s short UFC run has been successful, picking up four wins since joining the promotion in 2019. After booking complications nearly kept him out of competition for all of 2020, Gane fought at UFC 256, where he defeated Junior dos Santos in the second round with strikes.

In 2019, it seemed like Rozenstruick was on the fast track to becoming one of the top heavyweights. Rozenstruick’s rookie year saw him fight five times, finishing names like Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem. That momentum was brought to a screeching halt in May of 2020, as Francis Ngannou knocked him out in only 20 seconds.

After taking his first pro loss, Rozenstruick is now climbing back up the division. He returned to the win column in May, defeating Junior dos Santos at UFC 252.

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