Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza fought Robert “the Reaper” Whittaker tonight (Sat., April 15, 2017) at UFC on FOX 24 "Johnson vs. Reis”, which took place inside Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
Robert Whittaker came into this bout on a six-fight win streak, while Jacare, ranked number three in the world, had two in a row. UFC play-by-play commentator Jon Anik referred to Whittaker as “Bobby Knuckles” as the fight kicked off, but a new nickname wasn’t the only thing Whittaker walked away with after this bout.
Whittaker circled carefully, avoiding Jacare’s pressure early. They clinched briefly but Whittaker broke away. He landed a jab, then Jacare connected with a leg kick. Whittaker clipped him with a hook and Jacare whiffs on a right hand, then a spinning kick. Jacare got into the clinch, and Whittaker tried to fight off a takedown. He rolled through twice on a single-leg, popping back up, but Jacare got him down again. Whittaker somehow managed to get back to his feet, avoid the follow-up attempts on his legs and circle out. That was a huge moment for the young prospect. He then lunged in with a jab that missed. Whittaker stepped in with a one-two that also missed, but followed up with a left hook that laded as Jacare slipped and fell briefly. They exchanged, and Whittaker angled past on the exchange, not staying in front of Jacare. Jacare landed a couple nice right hands on the counter. As Jacare looked for a front kick, Whittaker stepped in with a jab. He landed a left hook off a combination that surprised Jacare, then another as the round ended.
They touched gloves for Round 2. Whittaker landed a huge right hand that dropped Jacare. He stepped into the Brazilian’s guard briefly, then got back to his feet and waved Souza up. He landed a nice uppercut as Jacare circled the outside of the cage. Whittaker landed a nasty head kick, too. Jacare ate a jab, trying to regain his wits. Whittaker landed a left hook in combination. He stayed patient, wary of Jacare’s power. Jacare stepped forward with a combination of his won that Whittaker blocked. Whittaker landed a front hook, then rocked Jacare with a right hand. He swarmed, and Souza went down. Whittaker landed ferocious ground-and-pound from the guard, and as Jacare turned away to turtle up the referee stepped in. Robert Whittaker by TKO! Middleweight has seen a changing of the guard, and Robert Whittaker is now a bona fide title contender.
He says in the post-fight interview that he will fight anyone he is matched up with in the top ten.
Official result: Robert Whittaker def. Ronaldo Souza by TKO at 3:28 of the second round
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