Rozenstruik was down but he was never out.
After likely dropping the first three rounds of his main event fight against Alistair Overeem, the Suriname native pulled off a jaw-dropping fifth round knockout with just four seconds left on the clock.
It took an awe-inspiring surge during that final round for Rozenstruik to get the knockout after connecting with a strong left and then following it with a right hand that exploded like a grenade in Overeem’s face, tearing his upper lip apart as he crashed down to the canvas. Rozenstruik walked away as if the fight was over but it was only after Overeem stumbled in his attempt to get back to the feet that referee Dan Miragliotta actually waived for the stoppage.
“That’s what we worked for. One shot, one kill,” Rozenstruik said following the knockout at 4:56 into the fifth round.
Everything was going Overeem’s wait in the early going as he avoided playing with fire against Rozenstruik on the feet and instead opted for takedowns where he could show off his vastly underrated ground game. From the top, Overeem dropped down short punches and elbows as he looked to show off his vast experience advantage against an overmatched Rozenstruik, who looked somewhat lost off his back.
Overeem managed to shred Rozenstruik’s defense and then make him pay with the power punches he continuously threw in succession. Rozenstruik showed off good durability while going into survival mode whenever the fight hit the mat.
In return, Rozenstruik tried to connect with his powerful hands every time he got separation on the feet trying to make Overeem pay for standing with him. The problem was Rozenstruik seemed to be conserving his energy and he was only throwing one strike at a time, which allowed Overeem to avoid the most damaging shots coming towards him.
When Rozenstruik finally came alive in the fourth round, he connected with his best shots of the fight including several blistering combinations that put Overeem against the cage as he unleashed multiple punches to the head and body and even threw in a couple of jumping knees for good measure.
Overeem covered up effectively but the constant barrage started to pay dividends for Rozenstruik as he saw his opponent’s gas tank start to drain.
Finally with seconds bleeding away until the last horn, Rozenstruik unloaded that hellish combination that flattened Overeem and brought an end to the fight.
While it probably wasn’t the overall fight he wanted, Rozenstruik still got the job done in the end as he picks up the biggest win of his career over an established former title contender in Overeem. As he said before the event, Rozenstruik already had one name in mind for who he wants next as he looks to stay undefeated moving into 2020.
“I want to be back March, April and I really want to fight this big scary guy Francis Ngannou,” Rozenstruik said. “I hope you accept this fight. Let’s give these people a real show.