UFC heavyweight contenders, the #4 ranked, Curtis Blaydes and recent headliner, the #6 ranked, Jairzinho Rozenstruik are currently targeted to meet at UFC 266 on September 25. — with a location or venue for the pay-per-view event yet to be determined by the organization.
Hoping to rebound from a devastating second round uppercut knockout loss to incoming title challenger, Derrick Lewis back in February at UFC Vegas 19 — which snapped Blaydes’ four-fight rise through the division’s ranks.
Also taking main event status in his last Octagon appearance, Suriname-born kickboxer, Rozenstruik took home a massive buzzer-beating first round knockout win over Augusto Sakai just two weeks ago at UFC Vegas 28. News of the targeted pairing of Blaydes and Rozenstruik was first reported by MMA Fighting reporters, Guilherme Cruz and Damon Martin.
Knocked back by Lewis in February, Blaydes was once more on the cusp of his first title challenge under the promotion’s banner with a win it seemed — ahead of the UFC 260 rematch of then-champion, Stipe Miocic and former two-time foe, current kingpin, Francis Ngannou.
Blasting his way through contenders following a first round UFC Fight Night Beijing knockout defeat to Ngannou back in November of 2018, Elevation Fight Team mainstay, Blaydes managed four consecutive wins over Justin Willis, Shamil Abdurakhimov, former champion, Junior dos Santos, as well as a headlining unanimous decision win over the #5 ranked, Alexander Volkov.
2-2 in his last four Octagon walks, American Top Team trainee, Rozenstruik rebounded with his win over Sakai earlier this month, following a falter opposite the #3 ranked undefeated contender, Ciryl Gane at UFC Vegas 20 in February. Prior to that loss, Rozenstruik had nabbed a knockout win over common-foe, dos Santos back in August of last year.
Also tackling current champion, Ngannou, Rozenstruik suffered his first professional loss in the form of a brutal 20-second knockout at UFC 249 in May of last year.
The 33-year-old Paramaribo native has also notched other eye-catching Octagon finishes over Junior Albini, Allen Crowder, former champion, Andrei Arlovski, as well as the decorated recent GLORY Kickboxing signee, Alistair Overeem.
UFC 266 takes place on September 25. — with a location or venue for the event yet to be determined by the organization. A light heavyweight title fight between Jan Blachowicz and Glover Teixeira is set to land at the event, while a UFC featherweight championship rescheduling of The Ultimate Fighter coaches, Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega is targeted to also land on the showcase.