Jairzinho Rozenstruik broke onto the UFC scene in a big way. 'Bigi Boy' had built a 6-0 record that included five knockouts before signing with MMA's biggest promotion. Four knockouts in his first four walks to the octagon established his name as a heavyweight contender.
A brutal 20 second loss against Francis Ngannou last year handed Rozenstruik his first defeat in the sport and saw the Surinamese fighter on the receiving end of a knockout punch for a change. A TKO win over Junior dos Santos momentarily brought him back on track, but a decision loss to Ciryl Gane earlier this year has halted his rise once again.
Nevertheless, Rozenstruik's power and potential is clear to see and in just seven UFC fights, he's already built quite the finishing highlight reel...
UFC Vegas 28: Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Augusto Sakai
At UFC Vegas 28 this weekend, Jairzinho Rozenstruik will taste a UFC main event for the second time in his career. Against Augusto Sakai, the 33-year-old will look to return to the win column and find the form that had him unbeaten in his first 10 MMA fights.
But the Brazilian will be no easy opponent. Like Rozenstruik, Sakai made a blistering start to his UFC career. Six wins in his first half-a-dozen fights, including four knockouts, brought the 30-year-old into contention. A defeat to Alistair Overeem last September was a disappointing way to end his unbeaten UFC record. Sakai will look to get back up-and-running in the division on Saturday.
Ahead of this weekend’s main event, let’s refresh our memories on Jairzinho Rozenstruik’s skills inside the octagon. Here are his three most brutal finishes in the UFC.
#3 Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Andrei Arlovski - UFC 244
Before facing Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Andrei Arlovski hadn't been finished in his eight fights prior. The last man to put him away inside the distance was Francis Ngannou. Rozenstruik's 39 second KO against the former champion put the Suriname-born heavyweight in that sort of company.
The knockout blow at UFC 244 came out of nowhere. It didn't initially appear to be the sort of punch that would end the fight. Whilst moving back, Rozenstruik threw a quick counter left hand into the side of the head of a forward-charging Arlovski. The fact he could generate that level of power whilst moving back is remarkable.
Arlovski was sent head-first to the ground and Dan Miragliotta didn't need to see any follow-up shots to know the fight was over...
#2 Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Allen Crowder - UFC on ESPN+ 12
In February 2019, Jairzinho Rozenstruik debuted in the UFC in style against Junior Albino. Some fast and furious strikes, along with a hard head kick, saw him make a statement to the rest of the division in the second-round. Not many would have thought it possible for him to look even more impressive in his second fight. He did just that.
It took just nine seconds for 'Bigi Boy' to record his second UFC win. As the fight got underway, Allen Crowder confidently pushed forward, only to be met with a stiff counter-left jab that sat him down. What followed was brutal. Rozenstruik positioned himself over Crowder and dropped an absolute bomb, knocking 'Pretty Boy' out cold. A couple of extra shots added to the grimace-worthy stoppage.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik's vicious KO was the second-fastest in UFC heavyweight history, sitting behind only Todd Duffee's seven-second win over Tim Hague.
The knockout was to be Allen Crowder's last appearance inside the cage having retired from the sport later in the year, citing memory issues from the concussions he had sustained. It's unsurprising a punch as powerful as Jairzinho Rozenstruik's had a part to play in his retirement.
#1 Jairzinho Rozenstruik vs. Alistair Overeem - UFC on ESPN 7
This finish is brutal, not just because of the powerful punch, but because of its outcome. It's hard to describe the image of Alistair Overeem after the stoppage. To put it bluntly, he had been punched so hard by Jairzinho Rozenstruik that his lip tore open. It's the kind of injury you don't want to look at but you can't help it, just because of how shocking it is.
The injury was compounded for Overeem by the fact he'd lost a fight that he was winning in the final four seconds. How 'Reem' managed a smile during the gruesome period before the cut was stitched up is beyond me.
The stoppage itself was about as well timed a finish as we've seen. Jairzinho Rozenstruik was down on the judges' scorecards and on his way to his first MMA defeat in his very first UFC main event.
Had he survived the final few seconds, Overeem would have finished 2019 on a three-fight winning streak. Instead, he was knocked out by a vicious right hand from 'Bigi Boy'.
As Overeem backed up towards the cage, Jairzinho Rozenstruik caught him with a quick left hand, before following up with a loaded right hook that sent the veteran crashing into the cage. Despite getting up quickly, Overeem's lack of balance justified the stoppage. It was a memorable comeback.
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