UFC 266 Preview: Jairzinho Rozenstruik – Curtis Blaydes

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 266, we will see a big time showdown in the heavyweight division. Two of the very best in the world will go head-to-head as “Bigi Boy” Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-2) takes on Curtis “Razor” Blaydes (14-3).

The two top UFC heavyweights are looking to pickup a big win that could put them in title contention. If you want to look at one of the very best heavyweights in the world who hasn’t fought for a title, look no further than Curtis Blaydes.

Blaydes joined the UFC back in 2016 making his debut against Francis Ngannou. While he lost that night, he’s gone 9-2 since then with the promotion. His two losses coming to Ngannou for the second time and Derrick Lewis.

Rozenstruik is in a very similar position as Blaydes. He’s one of the very best and he’s only lost to the very best. Bigi Boy has lost twice in the UFC and one was to the current interim heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane and the other was to the undisputed champion Francis Ngannou.

The last time we saw Rozenstruik was back in June when he took on Augusto Sakai. Rozenstruik looked great in that fight and scored a knockout just at the end of the first round.

UFC 266 Prediction

The fighting style of Rozenstruik is going to tell us a lot about how this fight is going to go on Saturday night. We’ve seen Rozenstruik fight incredibly tentative at times and that causes him to fall behind.

Now, he’s had punching power to bail him out, but you never want to fight from behind. Blaydes is one of the better wrestlers in the UFC and I’m expecting a very heavy wrestling attack from him on Saturday.

He fell a little too much in love with his hands over his past few fights and it cost him dearly the last time he fought. I don’t expect that from him at UFC 266 against a decorated striker like Rozenstruik.

Blaydes will hold his own on the feet, but I think his wrestling will get him the win here. Might not be sexy to watch, but I’m expecting him to be very effective.

Prediction: Curtis Blaydes by Unanimous Decision

UFC booking Curtis Blaydes – Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Curtis Blaydes, UFC

The UFC is close to finalizing a big time matchup in the heavyweight division. MMA Fighting was the first to report today that the promotion had verbal agreements for a heavyweight fight between Curtis Blaydes (14-3, 1 NC) and Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-2).

The matchup will take place at UFC 266 which is currently scheduled for September 25th. This is the fight that Rozenstruik wanted. Bigi Boy just fought Augusto Sakai less than two weeks ago in a main event.

That night, Rozenstruik picked up the first round TKO win. After the fight was over, he requested that the UFC book him against Curtis Blaydes next. Bigi Boy said that it was the fight he wanted and a fight that made sense for the heavyweight division.

With the win over Sakai, Rozenstruik moved to 6-2 in his eight UFC fights. He was unbeaten entering 2020 and he had a title eliminator against Francis Ngannou. Ngannou knocked Rozenstruik out in 20 seconds.

Rozenstruik then went 1-1 in his next two fights. Earlier this year, he had a main event against Ciryl Gane where he looked awful. Bigi Boy wasn’t aggressive and lost a decision. He promised the UFC he’d deliver in his next fight and that’s what he did with a first round TKO.

UFC 266 Heavyweight Battle

UFC 266 will provide Curtis Blaydes with a much needed opportunity to bounce back. Back in 2018, Blaydes was close to a title shot when he took on Francis Ngannou. Had Blaydes won that fight, he might’ve earned himself a shot at the belt.

However, like Rozenstruik, Blaydes was knocked out in under a minute by Ngannou. After that loss, Blaydes won four straight to put himself in another title eliminator. This one was against the popular Derrick Lewis.

Given what we know about the Jon Jones situation, the winner of Blaydes/Lewis was going to get a UFC title shot against Francis Ngannou. After starting well, Blaydes was knocked out cold by Derrick Lewis. Another big setback for Curtis Blaydes.

Blaydes is one of the best heavyweights in the world. However, he has seemed to stumble right when he gets to a title eliminator. He needs a big win over Rozenstruik in September to get him back on track and in the conversation for a future title shot.

What’s next for Augusto Sakai after UFC Vegas 28?

This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 28, Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-2) took on Augusto Sakai (15-3-1) in the main event. Sakai was looking to bounce back after he suffered his first UFC loss late in 2020.

Augusto Sakai started extremely well when he made his way over to the UFC. Sakai earned himself a shot with the world’s premier MMA organization after he appeared on the Brazilian version of Dana White’s Contender Series.

After getting to the UFC, Sakai started out 4-0 and that included a first round knockout over Marcin Tybura. On the heels of his perfect start, Sakai got a main spot against Alistair Overeem. The winner of that fight was supposed to inch their way closer to UFC title contention.

Sakai had some great moments in that fight and forced Overeem to use his grappling. Ultimately, Overeem got a TKO finish in that fight. Sakai was put right back into a UFC main event last Saturday against Rozenstruik and had the opportunity to bounce right back.

Unfortunately, the fight didn’t go his way. Normally, Sakai is the type of fighter who takes the center of the octagon and pushes the pace. However, it was Rozenstruik who did and at the end of the first round, Rozenstruik connected and put Sakai out at UFC Vegas 28.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 28?

After starting perfect in the UFC, Sakai has now dropped two fights in a row. That said, because of the level of the opponents, he hasn’t dropped much in the rankings. In fact, he stayed put at the ninth position after UFC Vegas 28.

With that, who should Sakai fight next? One fight I really like for Sakai next would be a matchup against Russian prospect Sergei Pavlovich (14-1). Pavlovich hasn’t competed since 2019, but he’s won back-to-back fights and he’s currently ranked 14th.

A matchup between the two would do a lot for the UFC. If Sakai wins, he’s right back on track and can fight another top ten guy. If Pavlovich gets a win over a guy like Sakai in his UFC return, he would instantly become a contender in the top ten.

After first round knockout at UFC Vegas 28, what’s next for Jairzinho Rozenstruik?

Entering UFC Vegas 28, Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-2) was facing a bit of a crossroads. Just over a year ago, Rozenstruik was undefeated and he looked like he was knocking on the door of a potential UFC title shot.

However, he lost by knockout to the current champion Francis Ngannou. After a win against Junior Dos Santos, Rozenstruik was outpointed by Ciryl Gane earlier this year. This fight against Augusto Sakai (15-3-1) was a fight that he needed to win.

If Bigi Boy wanted to remain in the conversation of top UFC heavyweights, he had to defeat Augusto Sakai. Sakai on the other hand was looking to bounce back from his first UFC loss so this was a big fight for him.

The problem with Rozenstruik has been his aggressiveness. When he fought Ciryl Gane, he fought so passive that he virtually landed nothing over the course of five rounds. It didn’t win him any fans in the UFC.

We needed to see an aggressive Jairzinho Rozenstruik on Saturday and that’s what we got. At UFC Vegas 28, Rozenstruik immediately took the center and pressured Sakai. With seconds left in the first round, Rozenstruik landed a shot to the temple and Sakai went crashing down. Rozenstruik picked up the massive first round TKO finish.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 28?

After the fight was over, Rozenstruik was asked what he wanted in his next UFC appearance. There was one name that Rozenstruik wanted and it’s a fight that makes a ton of sense given the current landscape of the heavyweight division.

In his next fight, Rozenstruik said he wanted to fight Curtis Blaydes (14-3, 1 NC). Blaydes last fought in February when he was knocked out by Derrick Lewis. Outside of Lewis, Blaydes has only lost to the current UFC heavyweight champion.

Blaydes is considered one of the best heavyweights in the division and definitely one of the best wrestlers. It would be a really tough matchup for Rozenstruik, but I really respect that he wants to fight the guy who makes the most sense from a rankings perspective. Honestly, this is the route the UFC should go next.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik knocks out Augusto Sakai at UFC Vegas 28

Two top ten heavyweights battled it out in the UFC Vegas 28 main event tonight. Sixth ranked Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-2) took on Augusto Sakai (15-2-1) as both men looked to bounce back.

A lot has changed for Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the last 13 months. 13 months ago, Rozenstruik was booked against Francis Ngannou at UFC 249. Bigi Boy was undefeated entering that fight and he looked like he was knocking on the door of a UFC title shot.

However, Francis Ngannou knocked him out in 20 seconds which ended that dream. After than, Rozenstruik bounced back with a knockout win over Junior Dos Santos before being booked in a headliner against Ciryl Gane back in February.

Rozenstruik put on one of the worst performances imaginable in getting shut out in the UFC main event. There was no urgency from the heavyweight striker and he proceeded to get outpointed for five rounds. Tonight was an opportunity for Bigi Boy to redeem himself in another main event.

Standing across from him was Augusto Sakai. Sakai last fought in September when he was stopped by Alistair Overeem. That loss was his first in the UFC and it snapped a six-fight winning streak. Sakai was looking to avoid a second straight loss tonight.

UFC Vegas 28 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 28 main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Sakai circled on the outside as Rozenstruik immediately took the center and both men exchanged kicks to start the striking. Nice low kick and jab lands for Rozenstruik.

Both men appeared to just be gauging the range in the first 90 seconds. Sakai throws a calf kick as he continues to circle on the outside. Another kick lands for Sakai and Rozenstruik counters with a nice straight to the body.

Rozenstruik pushes forward with a 1-2 to the body and Sakai tries to counter with a low kick but misses. Sakai throws a kick, but Rozenstruik catches it and explodes forward with a right, but just misses. Rozenstruik is doing a really good job of holding the center here in the first round.

Nice jab lands for Rozenstruik. Sakai throws a good kick to the body as he continues to circle. Rozenstruik pushes Sakai against the fence and rips a combination. Sakai circles out and escapes.

Rozenstruik again pushes and lands a left hook and right straight to the temple. Sakai crashes to the canvas and Rozenstruik follows up with a couple of shots and this one is over. Massive knockout win at UFC Vegas 28 for Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Augusto Sakai by KO – Round 1

UFC Vegas 28 Preview: Jairzinho Rozenstruik – Augusto Sakai

Tomorrow night, two top ten heavyweights will battle it out in the UFC Vegas 28 main event. Sixth ranked Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-2) takes on Augusto Sakai (15-2-1) as both men look to bounce back.

A lot has changed for Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the last 13 months. 13 months ago, Rozenstruik was booked against Francis Ngannou at UFC 249. Bigi Boy was undefeated and he looked like he was knocking on the door of a UFC title shot.

However, Francis Ngannou knocked him out in 20 seconds which ended that dream. After than, Rozenstruik bounced back with a knockout win over Junior Dos Santos before being booked in a headliner against Ciryl Gane back in February.

Rozenstruik put on one of the worst performances imaginable in getting shut out in the UFC main event. There was no urgency from the heavyweight striker and he proceeded to get outpointed for five rounds. Tomorrow night he’s look to bounce back and redeem himself a bit.

Standing across from him is Augusto Sakai. Sakai last fought in September when he was stopped by Alistair Overeem. That loss snapped a six-fight winning streak including Sakai going 4-0 to start his UFC career. Sakai will look to avoid back-to-back losses tomorrow night.

UFC Vegas 28 Prediction

When it comes to the UFC Vegas 28 main event, I have to say I’m a bit torn on my thoughts. On one hand, I love the pure striking ability of Jairzinho Rozenstruik. When it comes to pure technique and striking experience, he’s almost unmatched at heavyweight.

However, I really love the urgency that Sakai fights with. Sakai has decent technique, but he puts on a great pace for a heavyweight and he will likely be the busier fighter tomorrow night. If this fight goes the distance, I really think Sakai might be the favorite on activity alone.

However, I’m not willing to give up on Rozenstruik just yet. I think his loss to Ngannou at UFC 249 really messed with him. We’ve seen him incredibly tentative since, but I think tomorrow we will see a sharp and motivated Rozenstruik. While Sakai will have his moments, I think Bigi Boy will find a shot in the middle rounds that gives him the win.

Prediction: Jairzinho Rozenstruik by TKO – Round 3

UFC books headliner between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai

The UFC has finalized a big time main event for June between top ten heavyweights. Combate was the first to report that the promotion was in the final stages of booking the headliner between “Bigi Boy” Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-2) and Augusto Sakai (15-2-1).

The matchup will headline a UFC Fight Night on June 5th. Augusto Sakai will make the walk on June 5th as the ninth ranked heavyweight in the division. This will be his second straight UFC headliner and Sakai will be hoping for a better result in this main event.

In his last fight, Sakai was stopped by Alistair Overeem. This loss snapped a six-fight win streak for Sakai. Sakai made his UFC debut back in 2018 after earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. After winning his first few matchups, the promotion gave him a big step up in competition.

While Sakai had bright spots, Overeem proved to be too much for him. Prior to his loss to Overeem, Sakai defeated the very tough Blagoy Ivanov back in May. This fight on June 5th is a massive opportunity for Sakai. If he’s able to knock off Bigi Boy, he will be back on the right track in the UFC‘s heavyweight division.

UFC Bounce Back for Bigi Boy

Entering 2020, Jairzinho Rozenstruik looked like he could challenge for the UFC heavyweight title. Bigi Boy was unbeaten and the promotion booked him against Francis Ngannou. The fight had a ton of heat and Ngannou went on to knock Rozenstruik out in the first 20 seconds.

After that fight, Rozenstruik picked up a win over Junior Dos Santos at UFC 252. After that win, the promotion booked Bigi Boy in a headliner against Ciryl Gane. An impressive performance from Rozenstruik in this matchup could have him right back in the title conversation.

However, Bigi Boy failed miserably in this spot. Gane pitched a shutout and Rozenstruik didn’t do anything throughout the entire fight. After entering 2020 unbeaten, Rozenstruik is now 1-2 in his last three. This UFC Fight Night headliner on June 5th is massive for both men. However, it’s clear that Rozenstruik has to prove to the world he’s still a top threat in the division.

State of the UFC’s heavyweight division

MMA, Stipe Miocic

The last month has been incredibly busy for the UFC‘s heavyweight division. In the month of February alone, three fight nights were headlined by heavyweight clashes that shook up the heavyweight division.

However, outside of fighting, we also saw some big news come in last night regarding the heavyweights. The UFC released former heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos (21-9) and former title challenger, Alistair Overeem (47-19, 1 NC).

Both men were ranked inside the top 12 at heavyweight so the news is shaking up the rankings a bit. The release of JDS wasn’t surprising, but Overeem had just headlined UFC Vegas 18 against Alexander Volkov (33-8).

Volkov looked better than ever and stopped Overeem in the second round. However, Overeem had won two in a row prior so the decision to release was rather interesting. Nevertheless, Overeem is no longer with the promotion.

After Volkov’s big win, we saw UFC Vegas 19 which was headlined by Derrick Lewis (25-7, 1 NC) and Curtis Blaydes (14-3, 1 NC). Both of these men were looking to stake their claim as a top contender and that’s exactly what Derrick Lewis did.

After Curtis Blaydes easily won the first round, Lewis put him to sleep in the second round. Lewis is now tied for the most knockouts in UFC history and he’s ranked second in the heavyweight division.

Last weekend at UFC Vegas 20, we saw the conclusion of the heavyweight main events. Ciryl Gane (8-0) took on Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-2). It was the only fight that went the distance and it lacked for action, but Ciryl Gane dominated his way into the top five at heavyweight.

State of the UFC’s heavyweight division

After all of these fight nights, there is a big more clarity in the heavyweight division. At the end of this month at UFC 260, Stipe Miocic (20-3) will take on Francis Ngannou (15-3) for the heavyweight championship in a rematch.

After this fight, we already know what is next. Regardless of the outcome, Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) is getting the next crack at the heavyweight title. Jones vacated his light heavyweight championship to pursue the heavyweight title and he’s getting an immediate title shot.

I would say that whoever loses the title fight in March will likely face Derrick Lewis next. Lewis would be the number one contender if Jon Jones wasn’t moving up. Given where Stipe and Francis both stand, the UFC will likely let Lewis fight the winner after UFC 260.

With that, I believe that Volkov will likely be fighting Ciryl Gane next. Both are now ranked inside the top five and a win for either man would probably put them just one more win away from a title shot.

By the process of elimination, we could also see Curtis Blaydes and Rozenstruik fight next. Both are coming off of a loss, but both are still ranked inside the top six. The top of the heavyweight division is looking very exciting and I can’t wait to see how 2021 plays out for the big boys in the UFC.

What’s next for Jairzinho Rozenstruik after UFC Vegas 20 loss?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 20, we saw a battle of top ten heavyweights in the main event. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-2) was tasked in trying to derail the hype train of the undefeated, Ciryl Gane (8-0).

Rozenstruik is one of the most powerful strikers in all of the UFC. Bigi Boy has over 70 professional kickboxing victories and he’s stormed through all competition inside the octagon outside of Francis Ngannou.

Both of these contenders were coming off of victories against former heavyweight champion, Junior Dos Santos. The fight was being built up as a battle of finishers and many didn’t think this fight would go the distance.

However, there was a lack of action on Saturday night and ultimately many were disappointed with UFC Vegas 20‘s main event. The main issue with the main event was the lack of aggressiveness from Rozenstruik.

Gane had a good game plan and was racking up points on the outside. While nothing had a ton of steam on it, Gane was popping Rozenstruik with jabs and kicks all night. Rozenstruik appeared to be waiting for one big knockout shot, however, there was no urgency.

Heading into the fifth round, Rozenstruik needed a finish to win. He had lost all four rounds on all three scorecards. When the final round started, there was still no urgency from Rozenstruik and Gane walked to a decision win. Bigi Boy is now 1-2 in his last three in the UFC.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 20?

While Rozenstruik didn’t get finished at UFC Vegas 20, his stock took a major hit. Rozenstruik appeared to be fighting with a similar strategy that Derrick Lewis fought Curtis Blaydes with, however, he wasn’t throwing when he had openings.

Instead, he seemed content with staying on the outside while he was getting outpointed by Gane. So what does the UFC do with Bigi Boy after this performance? Well, I think there are a couple of options for Rozenstruik.

A matchup I actually like is the rematch with Alistair Overeem (47-19,1 NC). The two men fought in late 2019 and Overeem was winning the entire fight. However, in the last ten seconds, Rozenstruik landed a bomb that gave him the knockout victory.

I believe a lot of people would want to see the rematch. I think another fun matchup could be Rozenstruik against Walt Harris (13-9, 1 NC). The Big Ticket has lost a couple in a row, but he always brings the fight to his opponent. I believe either of these matchups would be a fun next step for Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

What’s next for Ciryl Gane after his win at UFC Vegas 20?

Ciryl Gane UFC

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 20, the heavyweights took center stage and were in the main event. Undefeated prospect, Ciryl Gane (8-0), took on Jairzinho Rozenstruik (11-2). The matchup between these two looked to be a pivotal matchup for the UFC’s heavyweight division.

Both Gane and Rozenstruik were being built up as finishers heading into this contest. Rozenstruik had the one punch knockout power while Gane had a repertoire that included elite striking and great submissions for a heavyweight.

After the Derek Lewis knockout at UFC Vegas 19, there was high expectations for this matchup. Well, it didn’t turn out to be the firefight that some people were expecting. However, it was incredibly one-sided.

It was apparent early on what the strategy was for both men. Rozenstruik was looking for one big shot to end the night while Gane was staying light-footed and striking from the outside. While Gane’s performance wasn’t flashy, it was incredibly effective.

Rozenstruik struggled to get any offense off during the five rounds. Gane stayed on the outside and just popped Bigi Boy with jabs and kicks. In the end, UFC Vegas 20 was a disappointment if you wanted to see a finish. However, if you’re a fan of Ciryl Gane, you had to enjoy his dominance.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 20?

When the scorecards were read at UFC Vegas 20, all three judges scored the contest 50-45 for Ciryl Gane. The French heavyweight stayed unbeaten and he is bound to be in the top four of the rankings at heavyweight when they come out tomorrow.

Dana White wasn’t thrilled with the performance, but at the end of the day, a dominant win is a dominant win. Gane did what he had to do and it was a complete shutout. You can’t fault the man for that.

So what will the UFC do with Ciryl Gane after this victory? Well, I think the perfect opponent for Gane would be the winner of the UFC Vegas 18 headliner. Alexander Volkov (33-8) should be next for Gane.

When the rankings come out tomorrow, both of these men should be ranked inside the top five. Both carry winning streaks and both probably need another win or two before they earn themselves a UFC title shot. I believe this is the path the promotion should go, and I believe they ultimately will go this route.