Rozenstruik defeats Gaziev via fourth-round TKO

Jairzinho Rozenstruik spent most of 2023 in the gym rather than the Octagon, in an attempt to shore up some of his weaknesses. In his first appearance of 2024 on Saturday, he was able to show the fruits of his labor.

Rozenstruik (14-5) defeated Shamil Gaziev via fourth-round TKO on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night inside the Apex in Las Vegas. Referee Marc Goddard stopped the heavyweight fight between Rounds 4 and 5, after Gaziev appeared to tell his cornermen he did not wish to continue. According to an in-cage Russian interpreter, Gaziev complained about his impaired vision, which was enough for Goddard to call it off.

In addition to his ability to see, Gaziev was visibly exhausted and defeated. Rozenstruik landed his impeccable jab throughout the 20-minute affair, bloodying Gaziev’s mouth and nose within the first round.

“I didn’t rush to knock him out,” Rozenstruik said. “My patience paid off. I took some real time to work on myself. [Wrestling coach Muhammed Lawal] and I worked on some things, and this fight showed that. My corner gave me the right instruction, which was to stick to the jab. The longer the fight took, I started to hurt him and eventually he gave up.”

Rozenstruik’s takedown defense was markedly better than it has been in the past. He defended all but one of Gaziev’s attempts, according to UFC Stats, and only allowed himself to be controlled for 4 minutes and 32 seconds. Some of that time was up against the fence, where Rozenstruik actually seemed perfectly content, allowing Gaziev to waste energy in failed efforts to get him down.

Gaziev was gassed by the third round and a sitting duck for Rozenstruik’s jab. He valiantly continued to march forward, but was only successful in walking into more of Rozenstruik’s offense. It was a welcome result for Rozenstruik, of Suriname, who was badly outclassed on the ground in a submission loss to Jailton Almeida last May. It’s his first win since December 2022.

The 35-year-old veteran said he intends to fight again in July or August. Gaziev (12-1) only had one UFC appearance prior to this main event, although his undefeated record had provided some momentum. He knocked out Martin Buday in his only other Octagon appearance in December.

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