UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem says that he “still has a score to settle” with rival Jairzinho Rozenstruik and he wants a rematch.
Overeem is coming off of an impressive fifth-round TKO victory over Augusto Sakai at UFC on ESPN+ 34. The veteran heavyweight has won four of his last five fights by knockout, with the lone blemish in that stretch a controversial KO loss to Rozenstruik last December. After dominating the first four rounds of the fight, Overeem was knocked down by a punch from Rozenstruik with just four seconds left, and referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight.
Following his win over Sakai, Overeem told the media that he views the first Rozenstruik fight as a win in his mind, saying he “schooled” his opponent. At the time, it didn’t seem like Overeem had much interest in a rematch. But a few days after the fight, now Overeem says that Rozenstruik is the man he is targeting for his next fight. Speaking to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Overeem said that he wants the rematch with Rozenstruik.
"He stole something from me. He snuck away with the victory. I mean I schooled the man. He knows it, everybody knows it, the whole world knows it, but somehow he still has that W."@Alistairovereem has "a score to settle" with Jairzinho Rozenstruik. (via @arielhelwani) pic.twitter.com/Xw0qm7pDmK
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 9, 2020
“Yes, definitely,” Overeem said when asked if Rozenstruik is his No. 1 target. “I mean I still have a score to settle, right? He stole something from me. He snuck away with the victory. I mean I schooled the man. He knows it, everybody knows it, the whole world knows it. But somehow he still has that W. So we definitely have some score to settle.”
Had Overeem lasted four more seconds in the first Rozenstruik fight, he would be on a five-fight win streak right now and in the conversation for the next UFC heavyweight title shot. But on paper, he has a loss to Rozenstruik that is bookended by four knockout wins. In Overeem’s mind, he beat Rozenstruik. But he knows that’s not what it says on paper.
“Actually I am (on a five-fight win streak). That’s the way it feels to me,” Overeem said. “It is not on paper so we gotta still do (the rematch).
Overeem is currently ranked as the No. 5 heavyweight in the UFC, while Rozenstruik is ranked at No. 3. With Rozenstruik coming off of a TKO win over Junior dos Santos in his last fight and with the rest of the top heavyweight contenders already booked, the rematch between these two makes sense to, as Overeem said, “settle the score.”
Who do you think would win a rematch between Alistair Overeem and Jairzinho Rozenstruik?