UFC succeeds in DC

Overeen vs. Rozenstruik amazes many in nation’s capital



Nicky Varela

Overeem delivers a kick to the leg of fellow Heavyweight Rozenstruik. Rozenstruik eventually won the match thanks to a KO punch.

Nicky Varela, Chief Captain Sports Editor

UFC Fight Night made its dramatic return to Washington, DC, and it surely did not disappoint the high expectations placed on it by the Capital 1 Arena crowd, especially for first time live viewers.

“It was interesting to see it live, instead of on TV. It was also interesting to see how [the UFC] really worked,” sophomore Cole Keating said.

UFC on ESPN: Overeem vs. Rozenstruik had 12 fights in total, with two early preliminary matches, four regular prelims, and six fun-filled matches on the main card. The excitement started fast in the early prelims, with Middleweight Makhmud Muradov and Women Strawweight Virna Jandiroba performing a TKO and forcing a submission, respectively.

The preliminary matches began with a win by decision by Lightweight Joe Solecki and was followed by a quick first-round submission victory by the undefeated Featherweight Bryce Mitchell. The third match of the prelims pitted Featherweight Billy Quarantillo against fellow Featherweight Jacob Kilburn, which can only be described as absolute domination by Quarantillio. The man known as “Billy Q” performed an insane 139 total strikes versus Kilburn’s measly six and cruised to a second round submission, with Quarantillo earning his first MMA win with the UFC.

The prelims concluded with the quickest match of the night, with American Welterweight Tim Means forcing a submission out of Brazillian Welterweight Thiago Alves in only 2 and a half minutes. With that, the main card finally commenced, and the true fun was underway.

The first match of the main card began with a bantamweight match between Rob Font and the mullet-haired Ricky Simon, ending in a decision victory by Font after a close match. The following bantamweight match between upstart Chinese fighter Song Yadong and Geraldo de Freitas Jr. ended in a draw, a disappointing end for both men. The first of two female matches in the main card ended in a KO in the third round by American Bantamweight Aspen Ladd.

The final three matches of the night started with a strange match between Heavyweights Ben Rothwell and the seven-footer Stefan Struve. With about a minute and a half minutes left in the first period, Rothwell landed a kick that grazed Struve in the groin, sending “Skyscraper” to the ground in an instant. The fight paused for about five minutes while Struve was struggling to recover from the blow to his family jewels, which, unfortunately for Struve, lead to relentless booing from the DC crowd whenever he bent over to help the pain pass. Eventually, the fight started up again, and somehow, another shot to the groin committed by Rothwell in the third period again sent Struve to the ground, causing a point deduction for the kicker.

Struve persevered through the pain once more, ending in an unfortunate KO/TKO by Rothwell, ending the painful night for the seven-foot Dutch. The following co-main match set the Women Strawweight Cynthia Calvillo against the undefeated Strawweight Marina Rodriguez. As the final female fight ended in a draw, the arena was set for the main event.

The last match of the event featured Heavyweight veteran Alistair Overeem and relative newcomer Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Surprisingly, the fight did not quite meet the expectations set for it, with the first four periods being slow and mostly unexciting, as Overeem seemingly allowed Rozenstruik, who, by attempting to throw punch after punch, would eventually tire himself out. With less than ten seconds left in the final period, Overeem, ready for the victory about to be bestowed upon him, never expected what was to come next.

With four seconds left, Rozenstruik, a 6’3” mountain of a man, delivered an unbelievably powerful punch to the mouth of the overmatched Overeem, knocking the big man to the ground and winning the match on a KO. Overeem was left with horrible lip injury as a result of the punch, leading to Dana White, the President of the UFC, to declare on an Instagram post, “HOLY S#%T.”

That punch brought along with it the end of UFC Fight Night in DC. Hopefully, future UFC matches will be able to match the excitement brought to MMA fans in this installment.