Las Vegas, NV — It’s been a bit since we last saw Surinamese heavyweight Jairzinho Rozenstruik inside the octagon.
Rozenstruik (12-3) has not competed since a September 2021 decision loss at the hands of Curtis Blaydes. After flirting with the top of the weight class over the past couple of years, Rozenstruik is happy to finally be getting back to work.
“I’ve got to be honest, it was a tough half-year, 2022,” Rozenstruik told media outlets during Wednesday’s UFC Vegas 56 media day. “But it is as it is, I just get more time to prepare for what’s coming. The heavyweight division is busy, and it’s awesome. It gives me a good chance to prepare myself better, and [it’s a] positive.”
A decorated kickboxer prior to his transition to MMA, Rozenstruik was happy when informed of his match-up with Alexander Volkov. The pair headline UFC Vegas 56, which goes down Saturday after a rare week off from the promotion. “I think it’s a good name, it’s a big name. Big boy as well,” said Rozenstruik. “It’s a good opportunity.”
It’s the type of opportunity that could end in fireworks. From the outside, at least, it feels as if Volkov will be willing to trade with “Bigi Boy.”
“On paper, it’s fun, but I don’t think he’s going to stand and strike with me,” countered Rozenstruik. “I think he’s going to try to take me down, and yeah. We’re going to see from there. I don’t think he’s going to strike with me.”
Jairzinho Rozenstruik was supposed to get back to action earlier this year. He had been lined up for a fight in February against Marcin Tybura, which was then moved to UFC 273 in March.
Unfortunately, Tybura was forced out of the fight. And while Rozenstruik was disappointed, he understands the nature of the fight game. “You want a fighter to be his best, so you can be on your best, and you level yourself up. So the only thing I could say is ‘get well soon,’ and just work with my team, go back home and deal with myself.”
There were other options on the table when Tybura chose out — but ultimately, Rozenstruik chose the path that has taken him to Saturday’s main event.
“We didn’t choose the fastest option, we chose for a better fight, a better opportunity. And that is this one.”
Jairzinho Rozenstruik faces Alexander Volkov in the main event of UFC Vegas 56 this Saturday, June 4, 2022 at the Apex in Las Vegas.