Jairzinho Rozenstruik didn’t want to fight Jailton Almeida, at least under the current circumstances.
Rozenstruik (13-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC) hoped to get someone higher in the rankings and with an established name in the heavyweight division, not a rising contender. But despite not wanting the fight, Rozenstruik finds himself fighting Almeida (18-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in the headlining slot of UFC on ABC 4, which takes place Saturday at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.
“We didn’t want to do the fight,” Rozenstruik told reporters at the UFC on ABC 4 media day. “Me and my team, we discussed it right away. We were coming off a good win and we wanted to fight someone higher in the rankings. The UFC really wanted the fight, so the fight is happening.”
The 35-year-old is coming off a 23-second knockout over Chris Daukaus at UFC 282 in December, a finish that won him a $50,000 bonus for Performance of the Night. Prior to that, Rozenstruik was on a two-fight skid.
Rozenstruik has no problem fighting Almeida himself. His issue had to do with rankings.
“It’s not that I don’t want to fight him,” Rozenstruik said. “I want to fight someone higher in the rankings. If he was ranked high above me, yeah, why not? But we work for the company, not the company working for us, so the fight is happening – and that’s it.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ABC 4.