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Francis Ngannou vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik moves to UFC 249

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A highly anticipated heavyweight clash between Francis Ngannou and Jairzinho Rozenstruik is expected to move to the UFC 249 fight card.

Multiple sources confirmed to MMA Fighting on Monday that the UFC is planning to shift the fight originally scheduled for UFC on ESPN 8 to the upcoming pay-per-view in April. While a location is still to be determined, all signs point toward Ngannou vs. Rozenstruik serving as the April 18 event’s co-headliner. ESPN initially reported the move.

The fight was originally expected to serve as the main event for the UFC’s return to Columbus, Ohio, on March 28, but that card was eventually scrapped due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In the aftermath of the event being postponed, Ngannou revealed that the UFC had him tested for COVID-19, and he hinted his fight could be rescheduled as early as the April 18 show.

Now the UFC is moving forward with a plan to feature the heavyweight matchup for the promotion’s first card since the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of three consecutive events.

Ngannou is coming off three straight knockout wins, including victories over two former heavyweight champions in Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos. As for Rozenstruik, he’s still undefeated in his fight career, with a perfect 10-0 record including four straight knockouts in the UFC.

The main event of UFC 249 will be an interim lightweight title fight as Tony Ferguson takes on Justin Gaethje in the five-round headliner.

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