Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight elites Ronaldo Souza and Vitor Belfort collided last night (Sat., May 14, 2016) at UFC 198 inside Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
Video highlights of their 185-pound showdown right here.
Souza has had a lot of bad luck recently, as he more than earned a title shot but the opportunity never materialized. He was hoping to right that wrong with a win over "The Phenom."
On the other hand, Belfort needed to prove that he was still a top Middleweight in the title mix. If he defeated his fellow Brazilian, Belfort would be in great position to compete for a title once more.
Instead, Souza is back in the win column.
"Jacare" opened up with some body kicks and takedown attempts, but Belfort did a very nice job defending the shot. However, Souza adjusted and scored with a low single two minutes into the round.
Almost immediately, Souza began smashing his opponent with punches and elbows, cutting open his foe. Before long, Souza advanced into the mount and began to punish his opponent with ground strikes. Belfort did very little to defend, simply covering up and waiting for the referee to stop the fight.
Not that Belfort had much of a chance to escape from underneath "Jacare," but the lack of urgency was still surprising.
Regardless, this was an ideal performance for Souza. The Brazilian played it smart, kicking at range and looking for an opportunity to score the takedown. While it was defended a couple of times early, Souza kept making his opponent -- known for his less than stellar gas tank -- work.
Before long, one of those takedowns was successful.
Once on top, Souza was dominant. He smashed "The Phenom" with ground strikes and showcased his excellent guard passing. Belfort was fairly helpless from his back, and Souza quickly forced the finish.
This was a massive win for "Jacare." He's now won all of his recent bouts except for the split-decision loss to the suspended Yoel Romero, so he certainly deserves to face the winner of Luke Rockhold vs Chris Weidman.
Make it happen.
On the other hand, this was a very disappointing result for Belfort. He's now lost two of his last three, and he's a significant distance from a title shot. At his age this deep into his career, it's unlikely that Belfort manages to go on another title run.
Unless TRT is legalized once more, this was his last chance.
That said, Belfort is still a dangerous top 10 fighter. There are certainly interesting fights available for him if he's interested in continuing to fight. For example, a rematch with Anderson Silva would certainly be a thrilling battle.
Last night, "Jacare" Souza decimated Vitor Belfort in the co-main event. Will Souza receive his title shot following this victory?
For complete UFC 198 "Werdum vs Miocic" results and play-by-play, click HERE!