Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight contenders Ronaldo Souza and Tim Boetsch battled last night (Feb. 11, 2017) at UFC 208 inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Souza has more than earned a title shot in his time inside the Octagon, but he has struggled to actually receive it. Forced to fight again anyway, “Jacare” stepped into the cage opposite Boetsch well aware of what was on the line. On the other hand, Boetsch has rebounded from some rough performances to put together a couple solid wins. As a major underdog opposite a top contender, Boetsch could make a sudden push into the title picture.
After a feeling out process, “Jacare” aimed for a double leg takedown from far out. Boetsch was able to stuff the shot, eating some punches in the process. The two returned to firing off shots at range, but Souza quickly turned a caught low kick into a successful takedown.
Souza used the fence to pass into side control. Boetsch did a nice job of recovering half guard, but Souza simply countered by stepping into mount anyway. A few strikes from there forced Boetsch to scramble and turn away, giving “Jacare” his opening.
Rather than try to flatten Boetsch back out or transition into back mount, Souza latched onto the wrist and quickly establishing the figure-four lock. Once Souza had his grip, it didn’t take long for Souza to smash his opponent into the mat and crank the arm behind his back.
It was brutal and efficient.
As expected, Souza quickly took down and submitted Tim Boetsch. He’s legitimately one of the very best grapplers in the entire world, let alone UFC. Once Souza secured his takedown, the fight was pretty much over.
He’s that dangerous.
Souza has once again proven his case for a title shot and should receive it. Yoel Romero has earned one as well and is likely next in line, but “Jacare” should undoubtedly face the winner of that bout. If there’s any legitimacy left in UFC, Souza will receive his title opportunity in 2017.
It’s hard to criticize Boetsch too much. He fought rather well on his feet, landing some decent shots, and he actually managed to defend the first takedown from “Jacare.” He gave himself a chance to land a fight-changing strike in that time, but it ultimately didn’t happen.
Once Boetsch landed on his back, it was over. That’s not an insult to Boetsch’s grappling game, it’s just that Souza is on a completely different level from the rest of the division.
Last night at UFC 208, Ronaldo Souza finished Tim Boetsch in the first round. Will Souza ever receive a title shot?
For complete UFC 208: “Holm vs de Randamie” results and play-by-play, click HERE!