Jairzinho Rozenstruik isn’t expecting a ‘long fight’ at UFC Vegas 56 (video)
Two top ten contenders face off to move up the UFC heavyweight ladder.
The UFC heavyweight division is in a precarious position as the current champion, Francis Ngannou is sidelined. That doesn’t mean the rest of the group isn’t doing the work to carve out their place to be the man to welcome him back if he returns. Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alexander Volkov are facing off against each other at UFC Vegas 56 in a fight that will help shape the future of the division.
Volkov and Rozenstruik come into this bout ranked in positions seven and eight, respectively. Being ranked in the top ten is important and that’s something Rozenstruik is paying close attention to heading into this fight.
“This is a main event, it’s a big opportunity,” Rozenstruik said during the media day interviews. “I just have to win.”
Rozenstruik is correct about this being an opportunity at a time when he needs it. Rozenstruik has traded wins and losses for the last two years, dropping fights to Ngannou, Ciryl Gane, and Curtis Blaydes, while defeating Augusto Sakai and Junior dos Santos. Not only has Rozenstruik recently lost to top contenders, but he’s struggled with fight cancellations throughout the year.
“I have to be honest, it was a tough half year of 2022,” Rozenstruik said. “[Fight cancellations] gave me more time to prepare for what’s coming. It gives me a good chance to prepare myself better.”
Alexander Volkov looks to remain among the “elite” at heavyweight
Volkov is in need of a big win as well. He last appeared back in March when he was defeated by Tom Aspinall in the first round, falling to a straight armbar.
“I was surprised because we know him as a tough guy,” Rozenstruik said. “But it was done so fast and was very surprising.”
Volkov has been a top contender at heavyweight for much of his run in the UFC, but he is 4-4 in his last eight fights. Rozenstruik is looking forward to this fight but doesn’t expect it to go long.
“I don’t think he’s going to try to strike and stand with me,” Rozenstruik said. “I think he’s going to try to take me down. I don’t think it’s going to be a long fight.”
UFC Vegas 56: Alexander Volkov vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik takes place on Saturday, June 4, 2022, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your news and highlights.
Published at Thu, 02 Jun 2022 20:33:06 +0000