UFC Spectator’s Information – The rebound battle has so much at stake for Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Augusto Sakai
After a rare weekend off, the UFC is back at its peak in Las Vegas on Saturday with a heavyweight competition between Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Augusto Sakai.
If we’re being honest, this UFC Fight Night provides some sort of replay for Rozenstruik (11-2) and Sakai (15-2-1) as they both get disappointing results at a UFC main event. Each of them had the chance to take a giant step forward in the division in their last fight – and each came up short.
The UFC Apex is hosting a Fight Night card titled by heavyweights eager to climb the rankings. Jairzinho Rozenstruik is looking to bounce back from losses in two of his last three fights, including one against current champion Francis Ngannou, while Augusto Sakai will be back in action after his first loss in his UFC career in September.
UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Sakai
• Saturday, June 5th, 2021, UFC Apex, Las Vegas
• Primary Ticket: 7:00 PM ET on ESPN +
• Preliminary Round: 4:00 p.m. ET on ESPN +
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Rozenstruik, 33, in particular, was spectacularly lackluster in a five-round decision defeat to Ciryl Gane in February. Rozenstruik not only lost every single round of this main event; he never seemed to do much to turn the tide in his favor. He was shy and received a lot of criticism after the fight for this.
“I have to be the first in this fight,” Rozenstruik told the media this week, referring to the latest criticism. “No matter what’s going on, how it’s going to happen, I have to be the first. This fight will be exciting.”
For Sakai, 30, disappointment is less about his performance than about the outcome. After starting his UFC career 4-0, he stumbled on his biggest Test against Alistair Overeem last September. Sakai has shown promise and has many years ahead of him, but in his first main event, against an increase in the competition, he failed.
If any of these analyzes feel a little harsh – maybe too high expectations for Rozenstruik and Sakai – then that’s because it is meant to be. The UFC heavyweight division is wide, wide, wide open. It has a new champion in Francis Ngannou and a potential great addition in former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. But it’s ripe for inclusion otherwise.
In all honesty, there are question marks with every other heavyweight contender. Former champion Stipe Miocic is looking for a comeback but is almost 40 years old. Derrick Lewis is on the run, but was previously neglected at the highest level. Gane has potential but is relatively inexperienced. Curtis Blaydes, Alexander Volkov, Shamil Abdurakhimov, Walt Harris – none of them stood out.
It is a gift for Rozenstruik and Sakai to account for this major event based on their respective losses. Who will benefit from it?
According to the numbers
5: Rozenstruik’s victories since the beginning of 2019, all by knockout. That ties him in with Ciryl Gane for most heavyweight wins and with Vicente Luque welterweight for the most placements in all UFC divisions during that period. Ten of Rozenstruik’s eleven career victories were achieved through KO / TKO.
11: Sakai knockouts in 15 career fights.
1: Aboriginal people of Suriname who participated in the UFC. Rozenstruik is the only one.
5.27 a.m.: Beats per minute in the Sakai UFC, the fourth most active heavyweight (at least five fights).
80: Percentage of takedown attempts by opponents successfully defended in the UFC by Rozenstruik, the second best among active heavyweights. Marcin Tybura, who fights at the Co-Main Event on Saturday, is in first place with 82.1%.
Sources: ESPN stats and information and UFC stats
Five against five
The latest results from Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Loss: Ciryl Gane (UD, Feb 27, 2021; watch on ESPN +)
Victory: Junior dos Santos (TKO2, August 15, 2020; watch on ESPN +)
Defeat: Francis Ngannou (KO1 May 9, 2020; watch on ESPN +)
Prize: Alistair Overeem (KO5, December 7, 2019; watch on ESPN +)
Victory: Andrei Arlovski (KO1, November 2, 2019; watch on ESPN +)
The latest results from Augusto Sakai
Loss: Alistair Overeem (TKO5 Sep 5, 2020; watch on ESPN +)
Prize: Blagoy Ivanov (SD, May 30, 2020; watch on ESPN +)
Victory: Marcin Tybura (KO1, September 14, 2019; watch on ESPN +)
Victory: Andrei Arlovski (SD, April 27, 2019; watch on ESPN +)
Victory: Chase Sherman (TKO3, September 22, 2018)
And the winner is …
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“I think the longer it takes, the more it favors Sakai,” said Cody Donovan, who coached the Elevation Fight Team to prepare fighters for both men. “I was impressed with Jairzinho fighting Alistair Overeem. I don’t think he did much for most of the fight. In round 4 I felt like he didn’t do anything Jairzinho did what he had to to do win. … When I’m Sakai’s coach, we turn up the volume, we move to the left, we stay away from Jairzinho’s left hand. We force the clinch, things that Sakai is pretty angry about. “
Watch Donovan and fellow coaches break down the main event and predict a winner.
How to see the fighting
Check out the fights on ESPN +. If you don’t have ESPN +, you can download it here. Also: Download the ESPN app | UhrESPN | Television program
There is also FightCenter which has live updates for every UFC card.
Battle card from Saturday Saturday
ESPN +, 7 p.m. ET
Jairzinho Rozenstruik versus Augusto Sakai | Heavyweight
Walt Harris vs. Marcin Tybura | Heavyweight
Roman Dolidze versus Laureano Staropoli | medium weight
Santiago Ponzinibbio versus Miguel Baeza | Welterweight
Dusko Todorovic versus Gregory Rodrigues | medium weight
Tom Breese versus Antonio Arroyo | medium weight
ESPN +, 4:00 p.m. ET
Montana De La Rosa vs. Ariane Lipski | Women’s flyweight
Tanner Boser vs. Ilir Latifi | Heavyweight
Francisco Trinaldo versus Muslim Salikhov | Welterweight
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Kamuela Kirk | Featherweight for men
Alan Patrick versus Mason Jones | Light
Manon Fiorot vs. Facebook Facebook logo Sign up on Facebook to meet up with Maryna Moroz. to join women’s flyweight
Sean Woodson vs. Youssef Zalal | Featherweight for men
Claudio Puelles vs. Jordan Leavitt | Light
Five More Things You Should Know (from ESPN Stats & Information)
1. The co-main event is like the heavyweight headlining match. Marcin Tybura has won four straight wins, the longest run in his UFC career. To keep it going, he has to get out of the way of Walt Harris early. Harris has the third fastest finish (12 seconds) in the history of the UFC heavyweight. He has a target rate of 100% (13 KO / TKOs) and the third shortest average fight time (6 minutes, 39 seconds) among active UFC heavyweights.
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2. Roman Dolidze will try to continue the Georgian success story when he meets middleweight Laureano Staropoli. Fighters from the Republic of Georgia have been 15-2 in the UFC since the beginning of 2020.
3. LFA middleweight champion Gregory Rodrigues will make his UFC debut as a substitute for Dusko Todorovic. Rodrigues, who won an LFA title shot against Josh Fremd on May 21, appeared in Dana White’s Contender series in a 2020 loss to Jordan Williams. Todorovic was originally supposed to face Maki Pitolo.
4. Two fighters will jeopardize perfect records: Jordan Leavitt (8-0, 1-0 in UFC) starts the preliminary round with a light fight against Claudio Puelles and Miguel Baeza (10-0, 3-0 in UFC) is a veteran welterweight Santiago Ponzinibbio on the main card.
5. Saturday’s 28 fighters will represent 17 countries which, if the map was left intact, would set a record for most countries represented at a UFC event. The current record is 16, shared by three events.
ESPN’s Jeff Wagenheim contributed to this bout preview.