15 August 2020 02:38
UFC 252 is on deck and the main card is set for another heavyweight clash apart from the main event. Top-ranked fighters Junior Dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik are preparing to stake their claim for title contention. The heavyweight headliners for the event will vie for the gold strap and provide some clarity to the UFC division. The top of the weight class has been choked up ever since Daniel Cormier moved up to fight Stipe Miocic. The elite athletes faced off in two iconic match-ups which saw of them split a win and a loss each.
The highly anticipated rubber match will finally ensure that the division is on its way forward. UFC 252: Junior Dos Santos vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik The #5-ranked Brazilian boxer has launched a successful comeback upon his return. Following his loss to Stipe Miocic for the belt, he has now gone 3-2 in his last 5 fights, competing exclusively against elite competition. Chiefly, he is on a two-fight skid and would be looking to get on track with a statement performance. His insistence on representing boxing in the sport of MMA might be his downfall against 'Bigi Boy'.
Dos Santos, despite being a top tier stand-up fighter, does not have the durability he once possessed. Coming off consecutive Knockout losses, 'Cigano' should integrate an element of grappling to his game. Rozenstruik is a world-class kickboxer with over 80 fights under his belt. Moreover, he has only been chinned twice in his former career. Since making his transition to MMA, all but one of his 10 wins have come via KO/TKO. His ability to shut the lights in a matter of moments will make him a dangerous opponent for any fighter. The Surinamese fighter suffered his first setback in professional MMA when he was stopped by Francis Ngannou in 20 seconds. In light of this stoppage loss, MMA fans and pundits will be searching for signs of tentativeness going into the fight. However, due to his experienced credential, it's safe to assume he will be mentally centered while fighting JDS. Breakdown If 'Bigi Boy' manages to keep Dos Santos at bay with his outward stance, he should keep the fight standing. Additionally, he carries massive power in his hands deep into the fight, as seen in his scrap against Alistair Overeem. The aforementioned factors should be enough for him to secure the victory over former champion Junior Dos Santos. Prediction: Jairzinho Rozenstruik to claim a second-round KO. LAS VEGAS — You don't have to be a professional fighter to know the absolute worst strategy to use in a bout against Francis Ngannou. Ngannou may well be the most powerful puncher in the history of the UFC, and charging right at him isn't the best idea. That, though, is exactly what Jairzinho Rozenstruik did when he fought Ngannou on May 9 at UFC 249 in Jacksonville. The bell rang, Rozenstruik moved confidently toward Ngannou and, 20 seconds later, Ngannou was celebrating a KO victory. That is no reason to mock Rozenstruik, however. It is more of a reason to celebrate him. The Surinamese heavyweight is himself one of the heaviest punchers in UFC history and he was bent on doing to Ngannou what Ngannou ultimately did to him. Who doesn't want to watch a guy who carries his power with him throughout the fight and essentially takes the attitude, kill or be killed? If you like slugfests and violent finishes, Rozenstruik is your guy. On Saturday at Apex at UFC 252, he'll meet former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos in a bout that could well steal the show on a card headlined by the rubber match for the heavyweight title between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. Asked if fans could expect a bombs away bout, Rozenstruik kept it simple. "One hundred percent," he said. Dos Santos is athletic and noted for his boxing, but he's vulnerable to being finished. He has scored 15 knockouts among his 21 professional victories, but he's been knocked out himself five times among his seven losses. Those five KO defeats have come in his last 10 bouts. Rozenstruik is 10-1 and only one of his 11 bouts has gone to a decision. He's scored seven first-round knockouts among his 10 wins and his only defeat was in the first round to Ngannou. Jairzinho Rozenstruik of Suriname is looking to bounce back from a brutal knockout in his last fight. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC) More It took a while for Rozenstruik to recoup after the loss. He'd known nothing but winning in his MMA career but admitted such a crushing defeat was difficult to accept. "After a loss, it means something's not good; something's not right," he said. In the most simplistic terms, what wasn't right was the strategy. Few fighters have ever attacked Ngannou and gotten away with it. But the knockout came as Rozenstruik was aggressively throwing a wide shot. Ngannou threw a straight one in return and it got there first and ended the fight. As a knockout artist himself, he understands the way the game works. He said he got back to the gym as soon as possible after the fight and tried to improve. "You can analyze a lot of things, but if you get caught, you get caught," he said. "Everybody can knock somebody out [in the heavyweight division]. The thing you have to do is to hit accurate and touch your opponent. But that fight was a short fight and I can't say a lot about it." Dana White has already said that Ngannou's next fight will be for the heavyweight title. If Miocic defeats Cormier in the main event, that means Miocic will make a defense against Ngannou in his next fight. But if Cormier wins, given that he said he'd retire, that would leave one spot open. It's unlikely to go to Rozenstruik no matter what he does against dos Santos, but Rozenstruik can't think that way. He has great respect for dos Santos and believes a victory over him would make a statement. "I'm not looking at the past," he said. "Junior's done a lot of things for the sport. I respect him for that. I respect him as an opponent, too. But I'm looking forward to what I want to do, where I want to be. If he's the man standing in the ring [opposite of me], he's the man to take out." That attitude is why he's a can't miss fighter. He may not be the most athletic guy in the sport. His bouts may not be the most technical. But if you watch fights because you love the violence and seeing guys get dropped and knocked out, Rozenstruik's your guy. In that regard, he doesn't disappoint. Given that attitude and the power in both men's fists, it's why Saturday's bout is almost a guarantee to be memorable regardless of who wins it. More from Yahoo Sports: