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Francis Ngannou hopes ‘lucky’ Jairzinho Rozenstruik can last at least two rounds in Columbus

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UFC Fight Night Ngannou v Dos Santos: Open Workouts Photo by Hannah Foslien/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

Francis Ngannou is ranked No. 2 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight class, second only to former division kingpin Daniel Cormier, and is hoping to secure another 265-pound title shot by winning his fourth straight fight.

The means to that end is a victory over fellow heavyweight power puncher, Jairzinho Rozenstruik, at the upcoming UFC on ESPN 8 mixed martial arts (MMA) event, scheduled for Sat., March 28, 2020, inside Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

A five-round headliner than may be over in the first five minutes.

“No, I haven’t seen nothing to impress me,” Ngannou told MMA Junkie. “Regarding that fight against (Alistair) Overeem, I mean, he got beat up the entire fight and he got lucky at the end of the fight basically by the early stoppage. The only way I see the fight going is me knocking him out. Round 1 or Round 2, I don’t know so I hope he’s good enough to pass Round 1 because Round 1 I’ll just take to set up.”

Tough talk from someone who may not be the division’s best striker.

Ngannou (14-3) came up lame in his attempt to dethrone Stipe Miocic at the UFC 220 pay-per-view (PPV) event back in early 2018, then followed that up with a stinker opposite Derrick Lewis. Since those back-to-back losses, “The Predator” has scored three straight knockout wins, two of which came over former UFC heavyweight champions.

As for Rozenstruik (10-0), he’s yet to taste defeat in his still-young combat sports career. It helps that “Bigi Boy” has ended seven of his nine knockouts in the very first frame, part of a stellar run that includes a 4-0 record under the UFC banner, with two of those victories coming against Andrei Arlovski and the aforementioned Overeem.

This could be a very short night in Columbus ... who ya’ got?