Jairzinho Rozenstruik Feels Comfortable with Grappling for UFC Fight Night 238 Headliner

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Jairzinho Rozenstruik says grappling has become ‘a habit, second-nature’ going into UFC Fight Night 238 headliner

Jairzinho Rozenstruik is convinced he’s fortified the most significant gap in his fighting arsenal during his lengthy hiatus leading up to Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 238 headliner.

Rozenstruik (13-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) makes his comeback after a first-round submission defeat to Jailton Almeida in May 2023, squaring off against Shamil Gaziev (12-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) in a five-round heavyweight showdown at the UFC Apex, exclusively on ESPN+.

The highly decorated Surinamese striker initially entered the UFC over five years ago solely as a stand-up combatant. While he’s demonstrated proficiency on the ground, the loss to Almeida marked his first submission defeat.

This setback acted as a significant wake-up call for Rozenstruik, prompting him to dedicate considerable effort to enhancing his grappling skills in recent months.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Jairzinho Rozenstruik (Credits: Tapology)

“(During my break) I focused on honing my skill set,” Rozenstruik explained to MMA Junkie and other media outlets during UFC Fight Night 238 media day. “This involved taking wrestling and jiu-jitsu classes. Initially, it felt somewhat tedious, but with time, it became second nature. I’ve reached a point where I embrace it.”

Rozenstruik’s ability to fend off grappling techniques will be crucial this weekend. Gaziev is known for his prowess on the mat and is likely to test Rozenstruik’s improvements at some stage of the fight.

The stakes seem highest for Rozenstruik in this matchup. With a recent record of 1-3 in his last four fights and his fifth appearance as a UFC headliner, he faces considerable pressure. Meanwhile, Gaziev has only competed once in the octagon, and it was the opening bout of a numbered event.

“If the UFC has chosen him as a headliner, then you know he’s a significant competitor,” Rozenstruik acknowledged. “He boasts an impeccable record. You have to respect that. 12-0 is no small feat. So, this weekend, he’ll face a test.”

“I’m delighted that the UFC sees me as main event material. It’s a tremendous opportunity, and I’m eager to showcase my skills this Saturday. I believe they recognize my ability to get the job done. Now, it’s almost time for me to fulfill my part.”

Should Rozenstruik, 35, secure a notable victory and end his opponent’s undefeated streak, he aims for a quick turnaround in the summer. However, he emphasized that this journey will be approached differently from before.

Having battled the likes of Almeida, Alexander Volkanovski, Curtis Blaydes, Ciryl Gane, Junior Dos Santos, Francis Ngannou, Alistair Overeem, and Andrei Arlovski, Rozenstruik has experienced the upper echelons of competition. Yet, mixed results have left him unsatisfied.

“After securing a victory this Saturday, I plan to take a step back,” Rozenstruik revealed. “In my UFC career, I’ve made some errors, some missteps. I’ve relinquished some of my power. So, I’m focused on piecing everything together. I’m already identifying those pieces and feeling my true power again. That’s my focus. I aim to return around July or August.”


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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