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Jairzinho Rozenstruik has no regrets calling out Francis Ngannou: 'I'd fight him again'

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Jairzinho Rozenstruik took a big gamble fighting Francis Ngannou, but unfortunately it didn’t pay off.

The Surinamese fighter called out heavyweight contender Ngannou after his big win over Alistair Overeem last December. It was a somewhat unexpected request, as very few aim to fight Ngannou, who’s considered the hardest hitter in the UFC and certainly one of the best knockout artists on the roster.

Rozenstruik (10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) got the chance to fight Ngannou on the main card of UFC 249 back in May. The heavyweight contest lasted only 20 seconds as it ended in another knockout victory for the former heavyweight title challenger.

Despite coming up short in what many considered to be a title eliminator, “Bigi Boy” wouldn’t take back his call out of Ngannou.

“Regret, no,” Rozenstruik told MMA Junkie. “It was a big chance. We knew that it was a big fight, a big challenge. And it didn’t go my way, but my dream is still alive. I hope he becomes champion. If you ask me to fight him tomorrow, I’d fight him again. I train to fight him again. Respect, it’s all business. I wish him luck, and hopefully I see him around.”

The defeat to Ngannou marked the first professional loss for Rozenstruik. The 32-year-old is no stranger to defeat having had a lengthy career in kickboxing. He admits the loss stung, but that is not stopping him from getting back to grind mode at American Top Team in South Florida.

“For me it was more, we didn’t really get into it (the fight),” Rozentruik said. “It happens in fights. And, yeah, a defeat, a loss is always not good. It’s not nice, and yeah it sucks. Now I’m back in the gym training hard, and let’s try again. Let’s get back in the octagon, which is what I’m looking forward to the most.”

Rozenstruik already has a return date to the octagon. The heavyweight contender takes on former UFC champ Junior Dos Santos on August 15 at UFC 252. Both dos Santos and Rozenstruik train at ATT.

“I just got the opportunity, and I said yes,” Rozenstruik said. “No disrespect to Junior, he’s a nice guy. We train at the same gym, and every time I see him he’s always nice. He’s always a good guy, but at the end of the day, it’s going to be business that we have to settle. So I mean, if I get the opportunity, I take it.”

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