Jairzinho Rozenstruik may be the newcomer of the year in 2019 for the UFC. He didn’t have his first UFC fight until February of this year where he knocked out Junior Albini in the second round.
It was an impressive debut, but Rozenstruik did even better in his next fights, with a nine-second knockout win over Allen Crowder, then a 29-second knockout win over Andrei Arlovski.
Now, in the main event of UFC Washington, Rozenstruik will be stepping up on short notice to take on Alistair Overeem. When he was offered the bout, there was no hesitation to accept it.
“For me, I was ready for whatever. It is the perfect time because I just came out of the fight and took no damage,” Rozenstruik said to BJPENN.com. “For me, it was good timing and a good opportunity. If I’m going to think about the future, when am I going to get this opportunity again? Never. That is why I called for it and accepted it.”
Against Overeem, Rozenstruik is fighting another legend, which he is happy about. He knows how big of a win this is for his career and his country.
“It is really important. A win over Overeem will put me close to the championship and I can’t wait to make this happen,” he said. “I’m the first Surinamese in the UFC, and to headline is huge for us. I’m happy to be in this position and to represent my country at the highest level in MMA.”
In this fight, given both Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alistair Overeem come from a kickboxing background, so he expects it to be a standup fight. And, although it is scheduled for five rounds, Rozenstruik believes they won’t be fighting for the full 25 minutes.
“Every fight is different. I try to be a step ahead of my opponent, the thing is, I’m ready,” he explained. “I’m ready for Overeem, and as soon as he makes a mistake I’ll be able to finish the fight. Any mistake will be punished with a KO. Any mistake, period.”
If he does that, he will be in the top-six of the division. From there, he either wants Francis Ngannou or a title shot next. Regardless, Rozenstruik wants to remain active and prove he is one of the best heavyweights in the world after UFC Washington.
“It will bring me close to the championship. I’m happy to take another step up the rankings because I have been fighting for 15 years and now I have this big opportunity. If I can have a title shot, we are going after it,” he concluded. “I want to be active though.”
Who do you think is going to win the fight between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alistair Overeem?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/2/2019.