Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight veteran Ronaldo Souza said goodbye to his 185-pound title shot after Robert Whittaker caved his face in during the UFC on FOX 24: "Johnson vs. Reis" mixed martial arts (MMA) extravaganza last weekend in Kansas City.
Watch the highlights here.
But just because “Jacare” wasn’t unconscious with his eyes rolled into the back of his head (sorry, JUST BLEED’rs), doesn’t mean he was fit to continue fighting. That’s according to oft-maligned referee, Mario Yamasaki, responsible for halting the action.
From his dialogue with MMA Fighting:
"I was the one in there. Watching on TV, people have a different image than the one I’m seeing in there, and I have to follow the rules. Everyone from the athletic commission praised me, but fans didn’t like it. They say I don’t like Brazilians, blah blah blah. I’m the referee, I have to follow the rules. Watching on the TV, it might give you the impression that I could have let it go a little longer, but you can’t see his eyes. The TV doesn’t show that. He was hurt. He would only eat more punches, and it was my decision to make sure he was safe since he couldn’t defend himself anymore. Let him go back up to get punched three times and go out, why would that do him any good?”
While Souza is going to lose his spot in the middleweight title chase, which was already in question after coming up short to Yoel Romero in late 2015, “Jacare” (24-5, 1 NC) has job security, thanks to a new contract signed prior to UFC on FOX 24.
The question now, is where does he go from here?