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An all-out heavyweight slugfest has been targeted for the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s pay-per-view offering in August.
Combate first reported this story on Friday, and it has since been confirmed by multiple other outlets. Former champ Junior dos Santos (21-7) will be locking horns with Jairzinho Rozenstruik (10-1) at heavyweight on UFC 252. Their pairing will go down on August 15 at a currently undisclosed location, although it has been hinted that it may be held at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
Dos Santos is looking to turn things around after suffering consecutive defeats for the first time in his career. Getting smashed in 71 seconds by Francis Ngannou to snap a three-fight win streak, the Brazilian went on to get knocked out by Curtis Blaydes in January. The ex-heavyweight champ has headlined the last seven bouts he appeared in, but he will not be appearing as the main event with a heavyweight title fight atop the card. With 15 victories in the UFC’s heaviest weight class, “Cigano” trails only Frank Mir (16) and Andrei Arlovski (18) for the most in divisional history.
Rozenstruik lost for the first time in his career against the aforementioned Ngannou, in a fight that saw the Suriname native get blown out in 20 seconds in May. The concussive defeat ended a 10-fight win streak that saw him finish Alistair Overeem and Arlovski in the Octagon. “Bigi Boy” sports a 90 percent knockout rate, with the only fight in his career going the distance a split decision victory over Andrey Kovalev at Rizin 10 in 2018.
On August 15, UFC 252 will take place at an unannounced venue, but the event may be held at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Headlining the pay-per-view is a heavyweight championship rubber match between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. Also on the card is a strawweight battle between Felice Herrig and Virna Jandiroba.
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