Francis Ngannou & Jairzinho Rozenstruik Both Agree To Fight At UFC 249
Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik, previously scheduled for UFC Columbus on March 28th, was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. After the UFC cancelled three events due to the coronavirus, many fights need new homes. But it would appear that this one has found a new home at UFC 249. Should the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson card go ahead.
The UFC has come under a little bit of fire for its pursuit to keep their cards going and whether or not they are testing their fighters for the coronavirus. However, Ngannou revealed that the UFC has recently tested him for COVID-19 because his match with Rozenstruik may be moved to UFC 249 on April 18th.
“There is a chance that I can be fighting on that card, but they have to settle everything down,” Ngannou said. “Like, for now, it seems like they have a location, but they have to double-check and see how they can handle this event safely for people. Because, first of all, it’s not just about (fighters). They are not just expecting to work with people that are fighting, they’re also trying to make things to care about our health. So, I got tested, they got me tested for the COVID-19, so I guess they tested other fighters, which is kind of like a positive thing, and like, makes you feel a little bit safe to get close or along with those people.”
Ngannou had a few things to say about the virus itself when asked if he would be concerned about performing at UFC 249.
“I won’t be concerned [about fighting in April], because once again, okay, I don’t wanna say that COVID-19 is nothing, I don’t want to say it’s not bad, but technically I think it’s a flu that we have all the time,” Ngannou said. “The only problem with it is that it’s contagious and it can spread very fast. But no, I won’t be concerned about it because even after I’ve had a test, I wasn’t very worried. I was like, okay, whatever it is, it’s gonna be okay. It’s not like bad. Because I think the thing right now is just the panic. So, this thing has caused more panic than the real pain itself. We are just panicking.”
“We’re doing what we have to do, keeping training, waiting for an update. Now we’ve slowed the pace a little bit down and as soon as we have an update, we’ll squeeze it back up and we’re on. So we’re ready for whatever.”
And like Ngannou, Rozenstruik would love for the fight to be moved to UFC 249. Which still doesn’t have a venue or location yet.
“I’d be happy to dance 18th of April. I can’t wait for this [fight] to happen because we’ve been working hard for it and the fun has to come out right now,” Rozenstruik said. “It’s about time.”
At the end of the day, Rozenstruik wants to get the fight done so he can go back to his family at this crazy time.
“A couple days ago [the UFC] called and they said the situation – maybe a month or later [is when we will fight],” Rozenstruik said. “So we’re waiting for an actual date so we know when we’re gonna dance. . . The situation is crazy. I really want to dance and then go back to the family and get back to normal and hope the situation settles up really fast.”
From the sound of it, it’s not only Ngannou and Rozenstruik who are keen to move their fight to UFC 249, Dana White told ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto that they are trying hard to make it the best card ever. And that includes adding Francis vs. Jairzinho on the card.
“We’re trying to build the baddest card that’s ever been done in the history of the sport. Some of the things are going to work out and some of the things might not work out,” White said. “We’re trying to figure out if [some things] don’t work out, what we do.”
If the fight happens at UFC 249, who do you see as the winner, Francis Ngannou or Jairzinho Rozenstruik?