Jairzinho Rozenstruik knew he had to do something and fast if he was going to remain undefeated on December 7, 2019. The 9-0 UFC Heavyweight was likely down four rounds to zero after being controlled by opponent Alistair Overeem for most of the bout. Overeem entered the fifth and final round of the main event battle confident he was a round away from sure victory. At 4:56 of the fifth round, everything changed. Rozenstruik darted forward with a left as Overeem backed up towards the cage. What followed was an accurate yet viscous right hand from the heavyweight slugger that sent Overeem to the canvas and shattered his lips into several pieces. The knockout was considered one of the more brutal of the year and resulted in a last second victory for the undefeated UFC heavyweight.
Ever since his UFC debut back in February 2019, Rozenstruik has taken the UFC heavyweight division by storm after compiling four knockout victories in a matter of 11 months. He has been able to put away Junior Albini, Allen Crowder, Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem in impressive fashion and earn himself the biggest fight of his career. Rozenstruik began his combat career learning kickboxing in his teens. After successfully competing in kickboxing and compiling a 76-9 record, he decided to take on mixed atrial arts. He made his professional debut back in 2012 and won the first four fights of his professional career by first round knockout. After a 6-0 start to his mixed martial arts career, Rozenstruik received a call that would forever change his life. He replaced an injured Dimitry Sosnovskiy to face Junior Albini on February 2, 2019. The bout resulted in a second round TKO victory for the UFC newcome and formally introduced fans to the newest face of the heavyweight division. Rozenstruik has proven to not only be a wildly entertaining fighter, but a true heavyweight prospect capable of knocking out anyone in the division.
At UFC 249 on April 18, 2020 Rozenstruik will get to clash with former UFC Heavyweight title challenger Francis Ngannou in what’s likely a number one contender bout for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Ngannou is without a doubt the toughest test of Rozenstruik’s career and a win over the #2 ranked UFC Heavyweight will likely plunge Rozenstruik into the top three of the division. Rozenstruik is currently averaging a 1.91 knockdown ratio and has finished 90% of his fight by knockout. There is no question that Ngannou is vastly more experienced than Rozenstruik.
Rozenstruik will have to match Ngannou with is equally impressive power but also make up for a five-inch disadvantage. His key to victory will be to get on the inside of Ngannou’ s long arms and fire off powerful hooks and uppercuts to tire out the taller and longer heavyweight. If he can do so and negate Ngannou’ s ability to fire off his own punches, then Rozenstruik has a path to victory.
With a win on Aprilv18, Rozenstruik has the chance to earn a title shot and continue his goal of becoming the baddest man on the planet.