Following a thrilling comeback victory at UFC DC, Jairzinho Rozenstruik says he’ll see Francis Ngannou soon, gives time frame for return.
Washington, D.C. — Jairzinho Rozenstruik was all of four seconds away from losing his UFC DC main event fight with Alistair Overeem. Four seconds was all he had left when he connected with a thunderous knockout blow that split Overeem’s lip open like a freshly peeled orange. Overeem fell back to the floor, coming to rest against the octagon wall. Rozenstruik knew he’d struck pay dirt, walking off without another thought.
Now that is a buzzer beater. Welcome to the big leagues, ‘Bigi Boy.’
* N S F W *
— UFC (@ufc) December 8, 2019
Rozenstruik, who improved to 10-0 with the win, most certainly took some damage of his own Saturday night. Overeem hits hard, though early on, the ‘Demolition Man’ opted to take the fight to the ground when he could. As the rounds progressed, however, that became more of a struggle. ‘The Reem’ slowed. Rozenstruik, meanwhile, showed impressive cardio, and agility — jump knees, anyone? — for a man his size.
On the scorecards, Rozenstruik was down three rounds to one heading into the fifth. He made sure that didn’t matter in the end, with one of the latest finishes in UFC history. Back stage, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press, he discussed the fight, and what is next for a heavyweight poised to be the next big thing.
He also got some good news: Francis Ngannou had heard his callout.
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) December 8, 2019
“I like it. If he accepts, I’m excited about it. I’m going to see him soon,” Rozenstruik said in response.
Of course, with four wins — the longest active streak in the UFC heavyweight division — there could be bigger plans in store for Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Title shots have been awarded for less, after all.
“I always like to fight, I always like to be active,” he said, when asked about the possibility of a title shot, were Miocic vs. Cormier 3 to fall through. If something were to come up at the right time, Rozenstruik said, he’d jump right in. “I’m here to fight, not to play. I don’t want to wait too long.”
Rozenstruick summed up his night at the office succinctly earlier in evening. “First I got myself beat up, and then I knock him out. That’s part of the job.”
He gave Overeem credit for his game plan, and was not surprised at the grappling-heavy approach. That said, the early takedowns from Overeem weren’t much of a factor, suggested Rozenstruik. “He took me down, but he wasn’t doing anything early in the round. I think the second one, I got a knee.” That at least put the heavy hitter from Suriname into survival mode.
“I think he made a mistake to think I’m not on his level,” Rozenstruik added. “He wanted to bring me into deep waters, I think that was deep enough. We did it.”
Heading into the fifth round, his corner told him to move faster, and that he was taking too long. “‘Come on man, you’ve got to do more.’ I was hearing that, but I think I was also a couple seconds too late. You always do what you can do and try to do your best. It’s MMA, it’s a fight. It’s going to go back-and-forth.”
Once he connected, however, he knew he had ended the fight. Asked about his immediate walk-off, Rozenstruik said that “I saw he was really knocked out, so I walked away.” Good sportsmanship, that. Oh, and the lack of a glove touch to start? “It’s a war. Don’t f*cking touch gloves. Let’s go, stop the bullsh*t.” It was nothing personal, however, he agreed.
After a grueling five-round war, and showing some damage, Francis Ngannou might have to wait a few months. In regards to a timetable, said Rozenstruik, “I think I want to return back like March-April. Enjoy the holidays, relax, get in the gym January.”
Watch the full UFC DC press scrum with Jairzinho Rozenstruik above!