UFC 266: Blaydes vs Rozenstruik preview
Blaydes vs Rozenstruik is the heavyweight featured bout at UFC 266, and it is set up to be a purist’s delight in a classic striker versus grappler battle.
With the UFC heavyweight title picture set to see champion Francis Ngannou take on interim champion Ciryl Gane next, UFC 266 offers contenders Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik an opportunity to set themselves apart from the pack of top five fighters clamoring for the chance to be next in line.
The winner of Blaydes vs Rozenstruik could be a heavyweight contender in waiting
Blaydes, 30, had won four straight before suffering a KO defeat at the hands of the hard-hitting, former title challenger, Derrick Lewis back in February. The wrestler has found success against all but the elite power punchers of the division, as the only two other losses on his professional record have come to Ngannou.
Rozenstruik, too, has suffered a knockout to Ngannou. The 33-year-old former kickboxer was a perfect 10-0 entering his bout with Ngannou, but has since split his next four inside the Octagon. With losses to Ngannou and Gane alternated by TKO wins over former champion Junior dos Santos and top-10 talent Augusto Sakai.
In what is an archetypal striker against grappler matchup, both Blaydes and Rozenstruik will look to cement their status as title challengers in waiting for the man holding the gold after Ngannou vs Gane.
UFC 266 happens on September 24, from inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main card for the event kicks off at 10 pm ET and will air exclusively on ESPN+ pay-per-view for US $69.99.
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