We’re back! After 3 long weeks, the UFC has returned, and they’ve done so with a nice action-filled card here in the nation’s capital. While it might not be the most important card in terms of immediate championship ramifications, it certainly has potential to be a lot of fun.
The Case for Alistair Overeem
To bring us back in, we have an interesting main event between Overeem and Rozenstruik. It really is incredible that at this stage of his career, Overeem is still at the level he is. From his days in PRIDE when he was largely known for getting smoked by legends like Chuck Liddell and Shogun Rua, to the days of the legendary “Ubereem” who terrorized the heavyweight world for multiple years and then dominated in strikeforce, to the Overeem that had to adapt to the world class competition in the UFC, “the Reem” has seen it all and pretty much done it all.
The only thing that has eluded him is the UFC heavyweight title. Maybe a win here over Rozenstruik to add to his first round wins over Sergei Pavlovich and Alexey Oleinik, where he seemed to find a nice balance between aggressive and cautious, will be enough to push Overeem to one last title shot. Only time will tell.
The Case for Jairzinho Rozenstruik
It remains to be seen if any of that matters against Rozenstruik, who at least on paper, has the style to give Overeem a lot of trouble. With 82 kickboxing fights to his name, there is no secret to Jairzinho Rozenstruik’s intentions in the cage. He’s coming for the knockout, but it is impressive just how fast he’s made it to this main event spot.
Debuting back in February, Rozenstruik had a successful debut, annihilating Junior Albini. That fight laid bare all of his strengths and weaknesses at this point in MMA. He spent the entire first round getting outgrappled by Albini of all people, before coming back and blowing him away in the second frame. From there, he’s finished Allen Crowder and Andrei Arlovski in under 40 seconds combined. While those are obviously great results, it’s hard to tell whether or not he’s gotten any better all around because of the quick fights. Though his combination of aggression, power and recklessness may be enough anyway.
I have to side with Overeem here. Rozenstruik obviously could just clock him, this is heavyweight after all. However, Overeem’s experience and more importantly his wrestling should get him the win here. Rozenstruik certainly has a high ceiling, but this really does feel like his first loss. And with Overeem working with team elevation, his wrestling should be on point. Rozenstruik has shown such a poor ground game that Overeem should be able to find a finish in there. Even if it’s his first submission in 10 years. The pick is Overeem via first round submission.
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