A heavyweight bout between Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik appears to be on the horizon.
According to a report from MMAFighting, the pair has verbally agreed to fight, with the UFC currently planning to host the bout at UFC 266 on Sept. 25.
The 30-year-old Blaydes, who’s ranked No. 4 in the heavyweight division, is coming off a brutal knockout loss to former title challenger Derrick Lewis this past February in Las Vegas. Before that, he had won four consecutive bouts over Justin Willis, Shamil Abdurakhimov, Junior dos Santos, and Alexander Volkov.
Although he’s been a consistent contender in the division for a few years now, Blaydes’ two losses to current champion Francis Ngannou and his loss to Lewis, who’s expected to challenge Ngannou next, put him in a bit of a difficult situation.
Meanwhile, the No. 6-ranked Rozenstruik competed earlier this month and scored a TKO victory over Augusto Sakai in the last second of the first round of their June 5 main event bout. Before that, he had lost two of his previous three bouts, coming up short against Ngannou and Ciryl Gane and beating dos Santos.
Those two losses, however, are the only losses of Rozenstruik’s professional career, as the 33-year-old Surinamese fighter known as “Bigi Boy” owns a 12-2 record with victories over Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem.
UFC 266 is currently scheduled to be headlined by a pair of title fights. In the main event, light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz will meet Glover Teixeira, and in the co-main event, 145-pound titleholder Alexander Volkanovski will fight Brian Ortega.
A location and venue for the event have not yet been announced.
Long Island-based sports writer covering MMA, Boxing, and the New York Jets.