The bout between Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik is one of the fights which preceded the highlight of the UFC 252, the contest between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. Still, even though it is not the main event, we will see a lot of excitement here. These two guys are the no.5 and no.6 in the UFC heavyweight rankings, and aim to improve that position and eventually receive a title shot. Also, both dos Santos and Rozenstruik want to recover after the respective losses they experienced recently.
Dos Santos (+120) is the former UFC heavyweight champion and, after that, a two-time challenger. After having mixed results over the previous several years, throughout 2018 and 2019, JDS posted three wins in a row, against Blagoy Ivanov, Tai Tuivasa, and Derrick Lewis, indicating that he might be back to the top echelon of the division.
Yet, defeats against Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes were something that prevented the Brazilian from getting an opportunity to be in the title talks at the moment. And if he loses against Rozentstruik, he probably won’t be included in any of the big fights in the near future. Ngannou and Blaydes handled him pretty easily, and that is something one title candidate can’t afford.
JDS has a rich history behind him, and a CV that features wins over Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, Cain Velasquez, Stipe Miocic, etc. He also lost against the latter two, plus Alistair Overeem.
Rozenstruik (-120) experienced this May what it is like to run into Ngannou, who knocked out Bigi Boy in just 20 seconds. This was a title-eliminator per many, and the Predator sliced his opponent without seeing a proper fight, snapping Rozenstruik’s 10-win streak.
During that time, the Surinamese fighter won nine times via KO, among others, against Andrei Arlovski, Allen Crowder, and Alistair Overeem. The win against the latter one was more of luck than his knowledge, because it came in the last seconds after one desperate punch. Still, it earned him a fight with Ngannou.
After all this, Bigi Boy seeks redemption and a way back onto the map of the fastest rising stars in the UFC. His style of fight is still raw, and we can’t say that Rozenstruik has the skills to become an elite heavyweight, but his tremendous power is something rarely seen.
One thing is sure, which is that the fight won’t go to the distance. We have two guys here with elite KO power. JDS has 10 KO wins in the heavyweight division, which ties him with Cain Velasquez for the second-most in history, behind Derrick Lewis.
Rozenstruik, as we said, is all about KO, and nothing else. His punching power brought him here and made him what he is now. Therefore, we will bet that the fight is going to end before the third-round finish bell. The moneyline is not as profitable as many would want too, -220, but we believe that there isn’t a better solution for this fight.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.