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Jairzinho Rozenstruik is Embracing Grappling in Preparation for His UFC Fight Night 238 Main Event Bout

Jairzinho Rozenstruik answers the questions (Via Kelly Starc/Getty Images)

Jairzinho Rozenstruik believes he’s filled a big gap in his fighting skills during his long break before Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 238 main event.

Rozenstruik, who’s returning after a submission loss in May 2023, will face Shamil Gaziev in a five-round heavyweight fight at the UFC Apex, shown only on ESPN+.

Originally known as a striker, Rozenstruik experienced his first submission loss in his last fight. This motivated him to work hard on his grappling skills recently.

“I spent my break focusing on improving,” Rozenstruik told MMA Junkie and other media outlets during UFC Fight Night 238 media day. “I took wrestling and jiu-jitsu classes. At first, it was tough, but now I’m comfortable with it.”

Rozenstruik’s ability to defend against grappling will be crucial, as Gaziev is strong on the ground and likely to test him.

This fight holds significant importance for Rozenstruik, who has a recent record of 1-3 in his last four fights and is headlining his fifth UFC event. Meanwhile, Gaziev has only fought once in the octagon, in the first bout of a numbered event.

Jairzinho Rozenstruik poses in a gym (Via Devon James/Shutterstock)

“If the UFC picked him for the main fight, you know he’s a big deal,” Rozenstruik admitted. “He has a perfect record. You have to respect that. Being 12-0 is impressive. So, this weekend, he’s up for a challenge.”

“I’m happy that the UFC thinks I can be in the main event. It’s a great chance, and I’m excited to show what I can do this Saturday. I think they trust me to get the job done. Now, it’s almost time for me to do my part.”

If Rozenstruik, aged 35, wins a big fight and breaks his opponent’s unbeaten record, he wants to fight again quickly in the summer. But he says this time around, things will be different.

After facing tough opponents like Almeida, Alexander Volkanovski, Curtis Blaydes, Ciryl Gane, Junior Dos Santos, Francis Ngannou, Alistair Overeem, and Andrei Arlovski, Rozenstruik knows what it’s like at the top level. But he’s not satisfied with the mixed results.

“After winning this Saturday, I want to take a step back,” Rozenstruik said. “In my UFC career, I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve let go of some of my strength. So, I’m focused on putting everything back together. I’m already figuring out those pieces and feeling my true strength again. That’s my goal. I want to come back around July or August.”

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