Saturday, August 15th
UFC APEX – Las Vegas, Nevada
Former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik this weekend with both men looking to spring back from defeat and put themselves into title contention.
Junior dos Santos (21-7) looks to bounce back from two defeats in a row this weekend as the former UFC heavyweight champion takes on Jairzinho Rozenstruik. dos Santos lost by TKO early in round two against Curtis Blaydes in his last bout in January, having won three in a row before defeat in his last two.
dos Santos was 6-0 on his UFC debut in October 2008 and got an early first round KO victory against Fabrício Werdum to begin a run of nine straight victories in the promotion, including winning the championship against Cain Velasquez in November 2011 and defending against former champion Frank Mir – both KO/TKO wins.
The champion lost his title when he was dominated in the rematch with Velasquez and could not reclaim it in their trilogy bout, also missing out on the belt when he rematched with Stipe Miocic, having beaten the current champion by unanimous decision in December 2014.
dos Santos currently has a 15-6 UFC record with “Cigano” claiming ten of these victories by KO/TKO. The Brazilian has also suffered five of his six losses due to KO/TKO and will need to be wary of the heavy-handed Rozenstruik when they meet as I expect both men to stand and trade in search of another finish.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-1) was also 6-0 when he made his first UFC appearance, and only one of his five octagon appearances have lasted longer than a minute – the former Team Yvel heavyweight champion’s main event contest against Alistair Overeem last December ended with a KO win for Rozenstruik with only four seconds of the fifth round remaining (the latest KO in UFC heavyweight history).
Unfortunately, “Bigi Boy” suffered his first professional defeat in his last outing as he was knocked out by Francis Ngannou at UFC 249 in May after just 20 seconds.
Hoping to show that the defeat is just a blip on his way to the top of the division, the Surinamese fighter aims to beat another former UFC heavyweight this weekend having already knocked out Andrei Arlovski 29 seconds into their bout at UFC 244 last November. With a background in kickboxing, Rozenstruik will be happy for the fight to stay standing so that he can utilize his skills against dos Santos.
A win is massive for both fighters as it keeps them looking towards the top of the weight class ahead of the championship bout which headlines UFC 252. The top of the division is crowded with competitors coming off a win and staking a claim to be the next challenger, so a big performance serves to put one of these heavyweights in amongst the title picture.
Prediction: Rozenstruik by KO/TKO.
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