Jairzinho Rozenstruik knocked out Alistair Overeem four seconds before the end of the fight in which he was way behind on the scorecards. It was a superb right hook which sent the veteran star to the ground at 4:56 of the fifth round, and probably destroyed his chances to have another title shot in the UFC.
Throughout the entire match, Overeem (45-18 MMA, 10-7 UFC) was collecting points, while on the other side, Rozenstruik (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) searched for that one punch which will solve the event. And eventually, the 31-yard old did find him. It was a stunner which shocked everyone present, and saved his perfect record, while on the other side, inflicting Overeem his 18th defeat. He wouldn’t look good at all following the knockout.
“That’s what we worked for. One shot, one kill,”the winner said after sending Overeem to the canvas.
— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) December 8, 2019
The fight wasn’t that dynamic as someone might expect from these two strong punchers, but it had periods that made the crowd at Capital One Arena in Washington, pretty loud.
Rozenstruik opened the match, refusing to touch gloves with his rivals, which made some of the spectators unhappy, and several booes could be heard even though the noise was loud.
Overeem responded with a takedown attempt, during which he did have the control but couldn’t do anything serious. Yet as time went by, Overeem landed a few side elbows which haven’t damaged Rozenstruik but were good. This round went to Overeem, the same as the second one, during which two guys traded low kicks, and a few punches.
In the third, we could see Rozenstruik trying to change things octagon, entering this sequence more aggressive and open. The veteran managed to restrain that and to take it into his advantage, getting the round, but it was obvious that the tide is slowly changing. He would explode several times in the fourth, trying to deliver a match-ending blow, but Overeem successfully avoided that.
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) December 8, 2019
In the last frame, Rozenstruik went forward, attacking at all costs. Overeem would strike back, collect points, preserving his lead, but it was apparent that he doesn’t control the match as he did previously. Eventually, it cost him the win, and a potential chance to be in the title eliminator once again.
“It was a hard fight, the guy is a really smart fighter,” Rozenstruik said. “He knows how to avoid a fight. He let me work, and finally, I still knock him out. I don’t need too much. One shot, one kill.”
For one of the best MMA fighters ever, this is a hard moment. Overeem planned to enter the chase for the belt once more, but following this loss, that would be pretty tough.
A for Rozenstruik, his meteor rise towards the top of the UFC continues. He already announced that if everything goes well in this fight, he wants Francis Ngannou. It seems that his wish might be granted pretty soon. He would call out the Predator once again following the fight, demanding a match.
“I want to be back March, April and I really want to fight this big scary guy Francis Ngannou,” Rozenstruik said. “I hope you accept this fight. Let’s give these people a real show.”
Maybe this is just the next big UFC spectacle.
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.