UFC heavyweight contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik remains okay with UFC superstar Jon Jones skipping the line for a title shot against UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, but Rozenstruik believes the most important aspect of the situation is that nothing is happening at all.
“Jon Jones, if he gets a title shot, that’s fine. But right now, the most that’s happened in the Jon Jones story is all talking and no action. So we’ll have to see what is going to happen,” Rozenstruik said.
Rozenstruik previously revealed to Heavy he wouldn’t avoid facing Jones in a megafight if he managed to get that chance, but after losing his last fight he seems more interested this time around in making sure he gets past his next opponent.
Besides, Rozenstruik knows what the UFC’s plans are right now for the heavyweight division, and all he wants to focus on for himself is getting in the right position to challenge for the title.
“Right now, [Derrick] Lewis is going to fight for the title. In the meantime, I want to be busy. I want to fight, keep winning fights and be ready,” Rozenstruik said.
As for Jones, Rozenstruik wouldn’t put all the blame on that situation with just the fighter or just the UFC. He said it was both their faults.
“It’s both of them. You know how it is. The guy has his style. He has all his accomplishments, and he’s accomplished a lot of things, and you can see it all you want. He deserves the respect, but sometimes people just take too long,” Rozenstruik said.
That’s not Rozenstruik’s style.
“I’m more a guy of action,” Rozenstruik said.
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Rozenstruik ‘100%’ Still Forecasts Heavyweight Gold
Rozenstruik isn’t worried about his recent setbacks inside the Octagon.
Instead, the 33-year-old believes those were just momentary bumps on the wider road to glory. Ahead of his upcoming main event fight against Augusto Sakai on Saturday at UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Rozenstruik said he firmly believes he’s still destined to capture UFC gold.
“100%, I’m still in the race. Everything is still the same. I’ll win this fight this Saturday, and we’ll see who is next,” Rozenstruik said.
Rozenstruik vs. Sakai takes place on Saturday, June 5. The main card begins at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN+, and Rozenstruik is anxious to get back in the cage.
“I’m happy that I can fight again. It’s a quick turnaround as I wanted. It’s another opportunity for me to get things straight,” Rozenstruik said.
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Rozenstruik Hopes To Rebound From Loss
In his last fight, Rozenstruik suffered a decision loss to rising heavyweight star Cyril Gane. Rozenstruik believes the five-round fight will ultimately help him become the fighter he wants to become.
“I was in there for 25 minutes, and it didn’t go my way. So I learned a lot because 25 minutes is a long time to be in there and still not to win. I’m looking more forward and working on a lot of things for myself,” Rozenstruik said.
Rozenstruik said his performance against Gane was less about what his opponent brought to the cage that night and more about what he wasn’t able to do himself.
“My coach was mad because we train a lot of things, and he didn’t see what we trained,” Rozenstruik said. “But I couldn’t get loose. I couldn’t let it out. It was really strange actually. It was just a really off day.”
Rozenstruik Is No Stranger To Adversity
Another similar experience was his previous loss to heavyweight monster Francis Ngannou. Unlike his recent bout against Gane, Rozenstruik was starched in that fight in less than 30 seconds.
But Rozenstruik said even that setback would help him moving forward.
“That was also a learning experience. I mean, they’re two different fighters, two different styles. Gane was playing the cat and mouse game, and I wasn’t playing the game. I was more just waiting…for the big shot. That’s not the game I want to play. I want to dictate the pace, create the opening, and land the bombs. That’s the way I’m used to fighting. I’m working on a lot of things,” Rozenstruik said.
So Rozenstruik is excited to take all the data he’s compiled so far in his UFC career and put it to use this weekend against Sakai.
“This Saturday, I’m ready to put down a crazy performance. I can’t wait,” Rozenstruik said.
Rozenstruik Remains Dangerous Heavyweight Contender
But Rozenstruik doesn’t just plan on learning from his losses. The fighter also said his best wins prove what kind of dangerous competitor he can be.
Indeed, when he knocked out Alistair Overeem with just seconds left on the clock in a fight he seemed to be losing up until that point in December 2019, Rozenstruik proved he’s as resilient a fighter as any in the sport.
“When I fight, I want to fight until the very last second,” Rozenstruik said.
A veteran fighter who compiled more than 80 kickboxing wins on his record before transitioning over to MMA and the UFC, Rozenstruik believes his ability to fight through adversity is something that sets him apart from other heavyweight stars.
“I think that’s one of the strongest attributes,” Rozenstruik said.
At the same time, Rozenstruik knows time is ticking. He’s 5-2 since entering the UFC back in 2019, but he’s already nearing his mid-30s. So Rozenstruik knows time isn’t necessarily on his side, and he’s focused on making the most out of his UFC opportunity.
“I’ve been learning so many things in such a small amount of time. At the same time, I have to show it… Sometimes life is like that. I’m feeling really confident about this fight. I can’t wait to go in there and just let it go,” Rozenstruik said.
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