A knockout artist like Jairzinho Rozenstruik is never too far from the title picture at heavyweight. In fact, he believes a win in his next fight, if impressive enough, could help him jump the line and fight for the belt.
Coming into the UFC with an undefeated record, there was a lot of intrigue to see what Rozenstruik could do among the elite heavyweights. For the most part he fired pretty well early on, until he was handed his first loss to new champ Francis Ngannou.
After getting back on track with a win over Junior Dos Santos, he seemed to not have fallen back too hard in the rankings, but another setback to Cyril Gane left him in desperate need to get a win. He looks to do just that, when he faces Augusto Sakai on June 5th.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik Is Looking To Finish
Although being 1-2 in your last three is not typically a great position, heavyweight is a different division. In fact, Jairzinho Rozenstruik believes that with a strong enough performance against Augusto Sakai, he can be right back where he was before losing to Francis Ngannou and Cyril Gane.
Speaking in an interview with MiddleEasy, the Surinamese fighter explained that he is looking to right the ship against Sakai by getting the finish. If successful, he believes that he will be knocking on the door for a title shot.
“Augusto is also a striker. He’s a big boy, so I’ve got to be there moving a lot, don’t stand there. I’ve been working a lot with my boxing coach too. So I think in this fight I have to be first, and that’s one of my strongest position in fights, so I think I’m going to work on that,” Rozenstruik said.
“A finish always feels good. You’re working so hard to do things and finish a fight. That gives you the confidence of ‘Okay, I’m working on this, let me keep working on this, but I can add this to it.’ And the most important thing to me is winning, it doesn’t matter how.”
Jon Jones Needs To Talk Less
As much as it is easier for Jairzinho Rozenstruik to get a boost in the rankings at heavyweight with a win over Sakai, things are still complicated at the top of the division. Namely there is the incoming heavyweight debut of Jon Jones, which might see him fight for gold immediately.
However Jon and the UFC have not seen eye to eye on things, in regards to pay, leading to Francis Ngannou defending his title against Derrick Lewis, and maybe even Stipe Miocic. Jairzinho believes that this is because Jon and the UFC just talk too much, and the former 205lb champ just needs to take a fight.
“For me, I think less talking more fighting. They’re taking too long, the negotiations are taking too long. On some way, both guys have to come to something and make the fight happen. That’s the fight people want to see, let’s do it. Don’t take too long, there’s too much talking,” Rozenstruik explained.
“I saw him, but I don’t know how he will do. I think he’s heavier carrying the weight, so we will see in the future how he does. The thing is, he has to come and start fighting. There’s too much talk about coming to heavyweight, and he don’t do anything. I think it’s motivating still, but you want to see some action.”
As much as he wants to fight for the title, especially with a win on June 5th, Rozenstruik understands that the UFC has plans for the heavyweight title. That said, even if Stipe were next up for after Derrick Lewis, Jairzinho feels like Francis wins both of those fights.
“Of course, I would love to fight for the title but in the meantime I’m making myself ready. Stipe is the number one contender right now. It can be a nice fight, but I think Francis will win again.”
Before Jairzinho Rozenstruik can even think about himself in the title picture, he needs to get past Augusto Sakai. If he does that, it will be interesting to consider how a rematch between he and Francis Ngannou would go.