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UFC on ESPN 7 is fast approaching, and luckily, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has found a worthy replacement for Walt Harris. Tasked to face Alistair Overeem on Dec. 7 is Suriname native Jairzinho Rozenstruik, who is likewise a kickboxing powerhouse.
After three impressive Octagon wins, Rozenstruik landed in the Top 15 of the heavyweight rankings. Taking out a perennial contender like Overeem could add value to his name. Then again, Overeem currently has a considerable amount of momentum on his side having knocked out Alexey Oleynik and Sergei Pavlovich for back-to-back first-round finishes. Get an idea on how the fight could play out through the numbers below.
Overall experienceRozenstruik made his pro debut on May 26, 2012, around the time Overeem was facing legal charges following his fight with Brock Lesnar. The Surinamese kickboxer aced his debut and all fights that followed. He is currently 9-0, with victories over Andrei Arlovski, Allen Crowder and Junior Albini in the UFC.
As for Overeem’s debut, we have to go back 20 years to Oct. 24, 1999. He fought in various promotions before making his way to Pride in 2002. The Japanese promotion was his home for a few years, during which time he competed 14 times in the Pride ring for a record of 7-7. He also fought in Dream, where he won the heavyweight title by stopping Todd Duffee in 19 seconds, and in Strikeforce, where he became the inaugural heavyweight champion after forcing Paul Buentello to tap from his lethal knee strikes.
Throughout his career, Overeem has shared the cage with some of the biggest names at heavyweight and light heavyweight, including Chuck Liddell, Vitor Belfort, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Ricardo Arona, Fabricio Werdum, Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Frank Mir, Junior dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski, Mark Hunt and Stipe Miocic. He carries a 45-17 ledger and at 39 years old remains a top contender in the UFC.
Octagon appearancesOvereem has appeared in the Octagon a total of 16 times. He was welcomed by Brock Lesnar, who at the time had just lost his heavyweight title to Cain Velasquez and was looking for a rebound victory. When Overeem showed up and stopped Lesnar with ease in one round, many felt that a future champion had just entered the cage. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to make his way to the title, losing his next two bouts to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Travis Browne. Since then, Overeem has notched several important wins over top-level competition like Mir, Dos Santos, Arlovski, and Werdum – all one-time UFC heavyweight champions -- as well as, more recently, Pavlovich and Oleynik.
Meanwhile, Rozenstruik will be making his fourth trip to the Octagon. Since his successful UFC debut against Junior Albini in February, Rozenstruik has collected two more victories for a perfect 3-0 promotional record.