Jairzinho Rozenstruik is expecting to continue his knockout streak on Saturday night when he takes on Francis Ngannou at UFC 249.
Rozenstruik and Ngannou were expected to headline UFC Columbus and then fight on April 18, but those events were canceled. Now, for Rozenstruik, he finally gets his wish of fighting Ngannou on May 9.
“I’m not surprised he wanted to fight me. I know he wanted to fight me because he wouldn’t fight for a long time. For me, it’s the right guy to fight and a good challenge for me. He’s someone no one wants to fight,” Rozenstruik said to BJPENN.com. “But, for me, I’m big on challenges so my team decided he’s the right guy and to move further in the rankings, he’s the right guy to fight. I’m looking for a title shot, so this is the path I have to walk through. This prepares me for the title shot.”
In Rozenstruik’s last fight, he knocked out Alistair Overeem with just seconds left in the fight. It was arguably the biggest comeback win of 2019 and for the Surinamese native, it showed his power is still there in the later rounds and he can go 25 minutes.
“I learned a lot in that fight, I had never gone that long,” he said. “I was passionate, saw the opportunity, and put him down. For me, it was a great fight. It was important to me.”
Although Jairzinho Rozenstruik was preparing for five rounds against Ngannou, he doesn’t care it is now a three-round fight. He believes they won’t even see the third round as the 32-year-old is confident he’ll knock out Ngannou, and believes he may do it early in the fight, too.
“I’m going to make this one of the best fights of 2020. I’m going to get a knockout win. I have to. That’s the only thing that counts. I have trained so hard, I have to win this fight,” Rozenstruik explained. “I’ll KO him in the second round. But, don’t be surprised if I knock him out in the first. Just get this win and look forward to the future.”
If Rozenstruik does get the knockout win, he knows he’ll be next in line for a heavyweight title shot. But, he says he won’t hold out waiting for a title shot as he wants to remain active and fight four times in 2020.
“I’m going to fight this one and we will see what the UFC wants. They will find something for me, they always do,” he concluded. “I’m going to beat Ngannou then make myself ready for the title shot. I will always stay active.”
Do you think Jairzinho Rozenstruik will KO Francis Ngannou as he says he will?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/4/2020.