Francis Ngannou knocked out Jairzinho Rozenstruik at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. It was a fight that couldn’t help but end early.
Francis Ngannou is a fighter who is considered the hardest puncher in the UFC. His most famous knockout was in a fight with the great Alistair Overeem in December 2017. Video of the decisive uppercut is best not shown to the faint of heart.
After six fights, Ngannou signed with the UFC. The Frenchman began to gain momentum and soon emerged as one of the promotion’s brightest and most promising fighters, all winning early. In 2016 he defeated Curtis Blades, then notable opponents such as Andrei Orlovski and Alistar Overeem. At the end of 2017, Ngannou was ranked number one in the UFC heavyweight rankings.
But the Frenchman failed to confirm his championship ambitions. In January 2018, he legitimately lost to Stipe Miocic by decision of the judges in a title fight. Francis followed that up with his second consecutive defeat, to Derrick Lewis, also by decision of the judges. In November 2018, Ngannou proved that it was too early to write him off. He knocked out American Curtis Blades in just 44 seconds. He then defeated Kane Velasquez, Junior dos Santos and Jairzinho Rosenstrike by knockout in the first round.
Then Francis’ career hit a black streak. He lost to Stipe Miocic in a title fight (on points) and then lost – also by decision – to Derrick Lewis. Lewis is a puncher, so then, in July 2018, a hard knockout was also expected. However, the fight turned out to be as boring as possible: the fighters were afraid to get close to each other. It was a real embarrassment.
Ngannou drew conclusions and in subsequent fights he went forward like a tank – regardless of who was facing him. First he knocked out Curtis Blades, then he ended Kane Velasquez’s MMA career, then he put Junior Dos Santos out of the way. So he got a fight with Jairzinho Rozenstruik , whom only MMA connoisseurs and kickboxing fans knew in 2018.
Ngannou is not a perfect fighter, but a perfect champion with a perfect story. An African who was born into poverty, worked in a sandpit since childhood, almost died making his way out of Africa to Europe, lived on the streets and made it to the very top in the finals. A giant with a bassy laugh, pumped muscles and a monstrous punch you can’t even last two rounds against is the final boss from any computer game.
The Surinamese made his UFC debut last year and was the opener for 2020. Four wins – four knockouts. The last two were in fights against Andrei Orlovsky and Overim. Jairzinho Rozenstruik sent the Dutchman to sleep just few seconds before the end of the fifth round. Jairzinho is not only good in punching but also in his physical preparation. Nevertheless his stamina didn’t come in handy. The fight with Ngannou lasted only 20 seconds.
The knockout was a tough one. Ngannou turned on the mill – he went forward with a series of big punches (Deontay Wilder style). Rozenstruik got confused and flew into a knockout – after a killer left jab. The Cameroonian then threw five finishing punches. That was unnecessary – Jairzinho had already lost his ability to fight back.