UFC 249 Preview: Ngannou vs Rozenstruik


Well UFC fans, here we are, on another alteration of a UFC event. Khabib Nurmagomedov is out due to Russia being on lockdown from the coronavirus pandemic. Justin Gaethje was signed to replace him, as he was meant to battle Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title. The winner would have been sure to get Khabib once all this is said and done. Aside from the supposed main event, UFC president Dana White was churning fights left and right to get this card ready to please the nation. That card is now taking place in Jacksonville, Florida, on May 9th. One that definitely peaked our attention was Francis Ngannou vs Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

Ngannou vs Rozenstruik was supposed to headline UFC on ESPN 8 on March the 28th. This event was ultimately cancelled due to the coronavirus, as well as UFC London and Overeem vs Harris. Nonetheless, these two men will face off in Jacksonville, in an interesting bout. Ngannou could very well be the hardest hitter in the UFC right now, and Rozenstruik is coming off a last-second KO of UFC legend, Alistair Overeem. In a packed heavyweight division up top, these two gentlemen want to break through to a title fight.


Preview of the Heavyweight

As it stands today, Stipe Miocic sits atop as the heavyweight champion. Miocic is coming off a UFC 241 main event victory against former two-division champion Daniel Cormier. Dana White has said in the past that “DC” and Miocic will fight again, as this will put them in trilogy talks. However, after that bout is over, another challenger must step up and possibly conquer the belt. This fight could very well make up the UFC matchmakers’ minds with their performance in the bout.

Now, to go in detail on how these two were prone to face one another. As briefly mentioned before, Rozenstruik defeated Overeem via KO as the UFC went to the nation’s capital. Many believe that Overeem was cruising to a unanimous decision victory as the main event was coming to a close. All of a sudden, Jairzinho landed a devastating overhand right for the referee to stop the fight. Overeem and other UFC stars outside of the event were calling it a robbery and, although it was a good, clean shot, the fight was stopped too soon. Rozenstruik landed himself as a comeback fight of the year candidate and, more importantly, a top-three contender fight.

Ngannou’s recent octagon appearance was well-spent and quickly spent. On June 29th, 2019, Ngannou went up against Junior Dos Santos in the main event of the evening. The hard-hitting heavyweight put away Dos Santos in the very first round via KO, who would’ve guessed. Francis certainly put his 6’’ reach advantage to good use to score yet another first-round KO in his impressive career.

David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Fight Breakdown/Prediction

The UFC surely knew what they were doing and booked these two men as the once main event of the evening. However, with a little change coming up, this fight is still poised to bring fans out of their seats. I mean, the last two fights from them have provoked multiple to do just that. You are putting two of the hardest punchers the sport has ever known up against each other, in a heavyweight bout that shouldn’t soon be forgotten. My pick for this fight, however, has to be the Cameroonian, “The Predator” Francis Ngannou. He’s been aiming for a title shot for years, every frustration “no” from the UFC hits harder than the last. Look for him to take advantage of his next obstacle to get there.

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