1:39 AM ETBrett OkamotoESPN Staff Writer CloseMMA columnist for ESPN.com
Analyst for “MMA Live”
Covered MMA for Las Vegas SunUFC heavyweight Jairzinho Rozenstruik capped off a magical 2019 run in a big way, as he knocked out Alistair Overeem in the final seconds of their heavyweight bout.Rozenstruik (10-0) needed every bit of the five-round main event to get the job done. Referee Dan Miragliotta waved the fight off at the 4:56 mark of the final round, after Rozenstruik dropped Overeem (45-18) with a straight right hand. The fight headlined UFC Fight Night at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.Rozenstruik was trailing on all three scorecards at the time of the knockout, which marked his fourth win inside the Octagon this year, the former kickboxer called out fellow knockout artist Francis Ngannou.”I want to be back in March or April, and I really want to fight this big, scary guy, Francis Ngannou,” Rozenstruik said. “If you hear this right now, I hope you accept this fight. Let’s give the people a real show.”Ngannou replied to Rozenstruik via Twitter, congratulating him on the victory.I heard you babayga. You made yourself very clear tonight. Congrats on your come back by the way.#uncrowndedchamp ☝️#UFCDC— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) December 8, 2019 While the knockout was spectacular, the fight overall was a tedious affair, as Overeem, 39, was very effective in slowing down the pace and neutralizing Rozenstruik’s weapons. Overeem scored multiple takedowns in a fight for the first time since 2008, and smothered Rozenstruik against the fence when the fight was standing.The energy Overeem expended in wrestling Rozenstruik, however, appeared to take its toll on him late. In the fifth round, he looked slow and a bit lethargic. With time winding down, Rozenstruik landed a short left hook, followed by the right hand that split Overeem’s upper lip and ended the fight.With just four seconds remaining in the bout, it marked the latest finish in UFC heavyweight history.”It was a hard fight, the guy is a really smart fighter,” Rozenstruik said. “He knows how to avoid a fight. He let me work, and finally, I still knock him out. I don’t need too much. One shot, one kill.”The first UFC fighter to ever come out of the South American country Suriname, Rozenstruik has finished all four of his UFC bouts via knockout, including two inside one minute. He took this fight on short notice, after Overeem’s original opponent Walt Harris withdrew due to the death of his stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard.Ngannou (14-3) is currently riding a three-fight win streak. The French-Cameroonian also enjoyed a fantastic year in 2019, recording first-round finishes over two former champions in Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. Rozenstruik has been calling him out publicly all week.Overeem, who trains out of Denver, saw a two-fight winning streak snapped.