Jairzinho Rozenstruik plans to reconnect with ‘my real power source’ in Suriname, return against a top heavyweight

Jairzinho Rozenstruik plans to reconnect with ‘my real power source’ in Suriname, return against a top heavyweight

Jairzinho Rozenstruik is getting back to his roots.

Recently, Rozenstruik scored a fourth-round TKO over Shamil Gaziev in the main event of UFC Vegas 87. Though Rozenstruik entered the bout as the betting underdog, “Bigi Boi” says he and his team had a precise game plan to upend the previously undefeated Gaziev and that it worked to perfection.

“The work that we had and the game plan that we had was exactly what we wanted to accomplish,” Rozenstruik said on The MMA Hour. “Going forward, we kind of knew from the third round, he doesn’t want to fight anymore.

“From a cardio standpoint, the damage he took in the previous round. In the third round, we already knew, OK, after the third round he was already complaining to his corner. So while we were talking, I was getting instructions, we were keeping an eye on him so we knew where to put the pressure.”

Ultimately, Gaziev was unable to answer the bell for the fifth round, and Rozenstruik picked up his eight win inside the octagon. It was a critical victory for Rozenstruik, who had lost five of his previous eight fights before Saturday, who says that was just the first step in a process which he believes will get him back to the form he showed in his early UFC run when was close to fighting for a title.

“Right now I’ve made a lot of changes in my staff and my self, personally,” Rozenstruik said. “I feel like after the Overeem fight I was navigating away from my power source, which is Suriname. So right now I’m taking a couple of steps back, go back home, recalibrate, reconnect with Suriname, get myself together, and this was a small piece of what I accomplished in my journey that I just started a few months ago.”

The only current UFC fighter from Suriname, Rozenstruik lives in Florida and trains out of American Top Team, and while he intends to continue with ATT, Bigi Boi said he’s taking a trip home where he can recharge and return to his best form.

“That’s my real power source. Going back to Suriname, lay down in the river, get my power,” Rozenstruik said. “In Suriname we like to be reconnect with culture. Go into the river, lay grounding with the Earth, stuff like that. I feel like I was losing my power, navigating my true self, which brought me to this higher level. I feel like I need to gain that again. … Take some rest, get away from everything, go into the jungle, lay down in the river that’s one of the main things. Grounding and connecting with the Earth, that’s one of the main things I used to do. It brings me relaxation, it brings me everything. It makes me relaxed in everything, also in my personal life. I haven’t done it in a while and I feel like my soul is asking for that.”

But despite being away from his power source and his middling record in recent years, it hasn’t been all bad for Rozenstruik. Over the past five years, Bigi Boi headlined six UFC cards, more than every current UFC champion besides Jon Jones and Leon Edwards. That’s a pretty big accomplishment for a boy from Paramaribo, and one that Rozenstruik is proud of.

“I didn’t know that going into the fight and then while I was at Fight Week media day, everybody started talking about it so I paid a little bit closer attention to that,” Rozenstruik said regarding his headlining numbers. “But I’m happy that the UFC sees the main event caliber in me and they know I can bring the main event action. That’s a plus for me as a person and also as a fighter.”

And those pluses will likely keep coming. Rozenstruik has headlined five of his past seven bout and given the promotion’s need for headliners, there’s a good chance his next fight will also be that, which would be more than fine for Rozenstruik as he tries to mount a title run.

“For me, I don’t like to call names,” Rozenstruik said. “But everybody that ranks above me, especially guys I haven’t fought yet, make sense for me. For example, I haven’t fought [Serghei] Spivac, Tom [Aspinall], Tai Tuivasa is a good one. There are one or two more up there I haven’t fought. Derrick [Lewis]. All those guys are good fighters and definitely a main event in that one would be amazing.”

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