On a night when the heavyweight championship is still to be decided, a former heavyweight champion suffered yet another loss.
At UFC 252 in Las Vegas, Junior dos Santos had a fairly solid opening round but inevitably his defensive weaknesses while pressured and on the backfoot did him in against the heavy-handed Jairzinho Rozenstruik. A left hook-right hand combo sent dos Santos down in the second round, and Rozenstruik poured on the punishment and scored another knockdown before Dan Miragliotta stopped it. It’s a big win for Rozenstruik after his KO loss to Francis Ngannou, while dos Santos has three straight knockout defeats.
The fight began with both fighters trading kicks and dos Santos throwing a jab to the body. Rozenstruik connected on a right over the top. It was a fairly low-paced striking battle at distance, with Jairzinho throwing plenty of low kicks while Junior searched for big power punches and head kicks. A caught JDS kick led to Rozenstruik springing into action and landing a left hook. Dos Santos answered with a right hand and Jairzinho countered with another hook. An apparent knee to the body turned out to be a knee to the groin of dos Santos just seconds before the opening round ended.
Rozenstruik started round two with a couple of leg kicks, while JDS went to Jairzinho’s body. Dos Santos’ jab upstairs was noticeably absent in what was not a particularly high-output affair. A good right hand by dos Santos clocked Rozenstruik pretty hard but he took it well. Rozenstruik eventually got JDS with a clean right hand, and that seemed to be the spark for the onslaught of offense that put the former champion away. Jairzinho walked JDS down, decked him with a left hook and right hand, then went on the attack on the ground. As JDS tried to get back up, another left hand send the Brazilian down again for good.
Official result: Jairzinho Rozenstruik def. Junior dos Santos by TKO (punches) at 3:43 of round 2