UFC Vegas 20: Gane vs Rozenstruik Recap

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

 

When the UFC books a main event fight between two top 10 heavy-hitting heavyweights, the expectations for chaos are high. In MMA, when you have two big men in small gloves, more often than not, someone is going to fall. The expectations for the pairing of Ciryl Gane and Jairzinho Rozenstruik were no different, though the result was a fight that did not have fans on the edge of their seats. It can go either way when it comes to the heavyweights, we’ve been let down plenty of times with having high expectations, only to be served up with a complete dud. This is not to say that Gane vs Rozenstruik was a complete disappointment, it wasn’t. It just wasn’t the exhilarating firefight that most of us were hoping for when we caught wind of this contest.

Round one was interesting enough and provided numerous moments that had fans wincing at the heat both men were throwing at each other. Gane was very light on his feet and demonstrated and very fast and long jab that kept Rozenstruik at bay. Gane was able to keep his opponent on the outside and dictate the pace of the fight, while Rozenstruik did threaten when he exploded forward with a couple of heavy combos that ended in a devastatingly powerful hook, Gane was nowhere to be found on the end of those strikes. Thanks to his active footwork and improved grappling and takedown ability, Gane managed to switch tactics and wrestle Rozenstruik along the fence to wear on him and secure the round.

The rest of the fight more or less looked like a variation of this same thing, with a decreasing output of strikes from both sides. Gane maintained the picture-perfect jab, which seemed to have nixed Rozenstruik’s ability to mount any meaningful offense at all. It seemed as though Rozenstruik let Gane dictate the pace, and with that, was caught standing and staring for a significant portion of this contest.

Despite the lackluster performance, credit is still due for Rozenstruik who came into this fight possibly looking better physically than any other fight of his UFC career. The word on fight week is that he entered the contest with an emphasis on conditioning, and it certainly showed physically. But unfortunately, he wasn’t able to put it to good use as the fight went all five rounds with the judges giving Gane the unanimous victory.

They can’t all be fireworks. Especially when it comes to the heavyweight division, even when it’s the elite level fighters in the division it can be hit or miss in terms of the entertainment value. But the bar has been raised over the years, without question, the quality of fights and the caliber of fighters have gotten much better in the big man division . So we are trending in the right direction, and by no means was Gane vs Rozenstruik the worst fight in the world. It’s just that the casual fanbase generally doesn’t take to kindly to a technical kickboxing match between two men who look like they could take someone’s head right off their shoulders, but those are the breaks.

Rozenstruik will be back and no doubt leaves us in awe with his horrifyingly punching power, and Gane will climb up the ladder of the heavyweight division. With an 8-0 professional MMA record, with 3 wins by KO/TKO,3 wins by submission, and 2 wins by submission, Gane has shown he isn’t just a Muay Thai/Kickboxer but a well-rounded mixed martial artist as well. While this latest victory didn’t exactly set the world on fire, and Dana White wasn’t overly pleased. He will get another opportunity to get fans on the edge of their seats against a big-name opponent, perhaps with a little more pressure on his shoulders to perform next time out. That added pressure to perform usually produces the desired results, so Gane’s next fight is certainly something to look forward too.

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