Alistair Overeem dominated Jairzinho Rozenstruik through the first four rounds and the bulk of the fifth round Saturday in the main event of UFC D.C. There’s a reason why main events are 25 minutes long, however.
Trailing on all three judges’ scorecards and with time ticking down, Rozenstruik threw a left uppercut followed by a scintillating overhand right hand that sent Overeem down and against the cage. Rozenstruik thought the fight was over, but referee Dan Miragliotta hadn’t signaled the end.
Overeem, his upper lip split wide-open, quickly picked himself up from the cage but stumbled all over the place, and Miragliotta waved off the bout with four seconds remaining at Washington’s Capital One Arena.
“That’s what we worked for: One shot, one kill,” Rozenstruik said in his postfight interview of the finish.
Overeem implemented a smart game plan; he neutralized Rozenstruik’s power by staying just out of distance, taking him to the mat and showing off his groundwork. Overeem was getting through Rozenstruik’s guard and blasting him with powerful shots, but Rozenstruik showed a ton of heart and found ways to keep himself in the fight.
The tide began to turn in the fourth round. Rozenstruik started to get Overeem against the cage and connect with hard shots to the body. The punches took their toll on the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion as the bout wore on.
Rozenstruik is undefeated in 10 fights after one of the most exciting knockouts of 2019, with nine of those victories coming via stoppage. It didn’t take long for him to call out the person he wants to fight first in 2020.
“I want to be back March, April, and I really want to fight this big scary guy Francis Ngannou,” Rozenstruik said, referring to the former UFC heavyweight title challenger and a fellow knockout artist. “I hope you accept this fight. Let’s give these people a real show.”
UFC D.C. undercard results
- Marina Rodriguez vs. Cynthia Calvillo declared a majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28).
- Ben Rothwell def. Stefan Struve by TKO at 4:57 of the third round.
- Aspen Ladd def. Yana Kunitskaya via TKO (strikes) at 0:33 of the third round.
- Cody Stamann vs. Song Yadong ends in a majority draw (29-27, 28-28, 28-28).
- Rob Font def. Ricky Simon by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
- Tim Means def. Thiago Alves via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:38 of the first round.
- Billy Quarantino def. Jacob Kilburn by submission (triangle choke) at 3:18 of the second round.
- Bryce Mitchell def. Matt Sayles via submission (Twister) at 4:20 of the first round.
- Joe Solecki def. Matt Wiman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30- 27).
- Virna Jandiroba def. Mallory Martin via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:16 of the second round.
- Makhmud Muradov def. Trevor Smith by knockout at 4:09 of the third round.