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UFC Vegas 20: Jairzinho Rozenstruik will decline title shot, even with victory over Ciryl Gane

UFC 252: Dos Santos v Rozenstruik Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight power puncher Jairzinho Rozenstruik, who battles Ciryl Gane in the UFC Vegas 20 main event this Sat. night (Feb. 27) in “Sin City,” wants to be heavyweight champion of the world.


But Rozenstruik recently told the combat sports media (via MMA Junkie) that he’s not quite ready for a crack at the division crown, even if he leaves APEX victorious over “Bon Gamin,” which is why he’s got no problem stepping aside for Jon Jones.

“I want to fight more before I fight for a title, so Jon Jones can go first,” Rozenstruik said. “I want to be ready for the title fight, and I don’t think I’m ready right now. Why am I saying that? I want to get going, I want to be in the washing machine, be in the Octagon, get that feeling – especially after last year, it was a really bad year for all of us.”

It certainly wasn’t a bad year for this guy.

Rozenstruik (11-1) jumped out to 10 straight wins in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, culminating in consecutive knockout victories over longtime veterans Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem. Unfortunately, his march to the 265-pound title would be halted by the fists of top contender Francis Ngannou, but “Bigi Boy” got right back into the win column with a second-round finish against ex-heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.

As for Gane (7-0), he’s also coming off a second-round stoppage over “Cigano” after winning his first three fights under the UFC banner. “Bon Gamin” is currently undefeated with finishes over Raphael Pessoa and Don’Tale Mayes, just to name a few. No question a victory over Rozenstruik puts Gane one or two wins away from a heavyweight title shot, though I don’t think he shares “Bigi Boy’s” outlook on the division crown.

Perhaps we’ll find out during his post-fight interview.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 20 news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the complete “Rozenstruik vs. Gane” fight card and ESPN+ lineup click here.

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