Jairzinho Rozenstruik took the MMA world by storm after earning four UFC victories in 2019 via knockout, closing the year out with an undefeated record of ten wins and no losses. After a dominant string of finishes, the Surinamese was set to be a real problem for the rest of the contenders in the heavyweight division.
Rozenstruik’s successful run would come to a halt however, after losing his undefeated status at UFC 249, following a KO loss against Francis Ngannou.
However, the 32 year old is not one to quit in the face of adversity and agreed to fight Junior dos Santos at UFC 252 just three months after his devastating loss to Ngannou.
Rozenstruik spoke to MMA Junkie and reflected on his most recent loss, explaining that he has no regrets for calling out Ngannou so early in his MMA career.
“Regret, no,” Rozenstruik said. “It was a big chance. We knew that it was a big fight, a big challenge. And it didn’t go my way, but my dream is still alive. I hope he becomes champion. If you ask me to fight him tomorrow, I’d fight him again. I train to fight him again. Respect, it’s all business. I wish him luck, and hopefully I see him around.”
‘Bigi Boy’ believes that he did not get a chance to show his full arsenal against Ngannou. Despite a devastating setback in his last outing, Rozenstruik has his mind set on returning to the Octagon to prove his worth in the UFC.
“For me it was more, we didn’t really get into it (the fight),” Rozenstruik said. “It happens in fights. And, yeah, a defeat, a loss is always not good. It’s not nice, and yeah it sucks. Now I’m back in the gym training hard, and let’s try again. Let’s get back in the Octagon, which is what I’m looking forward to the most.”
Rozenstruik also commented on his next opponent, dos Santos, who even suggested a sparring session with ‘Bigi Boy’ in preparation for their bout. Although the Surinamese passed on the offer, he does express a high level of respect for the Brazilian.
“No, I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Rozenstruik stated. “It’s nice of him, you know what I mean. As I said before, he’s a nice guy and he’s got my respect. Most of the other fighters, even Francis Ngannou, Alistair Overeem, they start trash talk and underestimate me and stuff. But yeah, this fight is different.”
A win against JDS could put Rozenstruik back in the race for the title; a couple of victories could solidify ‘Bigi Boy’ as a top five contender in the heavyweight division.
“One hundred percent, we’re right there,” Rozenstruik said. “Right now we’re on the same card as the champion who’s fights Daniel Cormier. We’re going to see who’s next, and by that time, I’m going to still be around, stay active, and wait for my chance. Right now my dream is still alive its kind of on hold, but nothing can stop me going to my dream.”
Rozenstruik’s chance for redemption against dos Santos will not be an easy task; the former champion has been at the top of the division for over a decade. ‘Cigano’ will also be looking to regain his position in the title contention after two consecutive losses against top heavyweights, Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes.
Both Rozenstruik and dos Santos are heavy hitters with careers full of spectacular stoppages, making this a highly anticipated bout. As is common with heavyweight fights, fans better make sure they don’t blink; this fight could be over any second.
How to do you think Jairzinho Rozenstruik fares against Junior dos Santos at UFC 252?