Undefeated UFC heavyweight Jairzinho Rozenstruik says his planned fight with Francis Ngannou in May should be for the interim title.
Rozenstruik (10-0) and Ngannou (14-3) were originally booked to fight at UFC Columbus and UFC 249, but both of the matchups were scrapped as the events were cancelled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. The UFC is planning to host a stacked card on May 9th with Rozenstruik and Ngannou scheduled to meet at the event, but no location or venue is set in stone for the card yet.
Current UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is likely to defend his title against Daniel Cormier next in a trilogy fight, but with that matchup far from booked Rozenstruik told MMA Junkie that he and Ngannou should fight for the interim belt.
“What’s better than to fight for a title in a big match?” Rozenstruik said. “It’s already a big match, and if you put in the (interim) title, it’s going to be more interesting for both of us. But for now, it’s still the same: It’s a fight. I want it really bad, and when it happens, I’ll be in the best shape ever.”
Both “Bigi Boi” and Ngannou are on impressive win streaks in the UFC, finishing all three of their last opponents. Ngannou also agreed with Jairzinho’s comments and said Miocic and Cormier’s trilogy is slowing down the division.
“I think the heavyweight division needs that,” Ngannou said. “It’s kind of slowed down with the Stipe and Cormier fight, and we don’t know when the champ is going to return. So for now, put in an interim belt. I think the heavyweight (division) needs it to move forward.”