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UFC 230 results: Jacare Souza scores brutal walkoff knockout over Chris Weidman

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight kingpin, Chris Weidman, was supposed to lock horns with Luke Rockhold in UFC 230’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event tonight (Sat., Nov. 3, 2018) inside Madison Squared Garden in New York, N.Y., with the winner likely earning a future title shot sometime in 2019. But, Rockhold was forced off the card because of an injury and it appeared that “All American” would have to put his belt-chasing hopes on hold.

Fortunately for the Long Island native, No. 5-ranked Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza — who once wore Strikeforce’s 185-pound crown — was equally as hungry to climb the No. 1 contender ladder, agreeing to fight Weidman on short notice in “The Big Apple.” Unfortunately for the Long Island native, Jacare doesn’t just squeezE like a boa constrictor, he also hits like a truck.

Jacare chased Weidman around the Octagon to start the match, but neither fighter was willing to pull the trigger in the first minute of the bout. Weidman tried to land a few knees in a Muay Thai clinch, but Jacare was able to shuck him off and continue his pursuit. Weidman put together a nice combination and a right hand snuck through Jacare’s defenses, wobbling his legs momentarily but not enough to knock him off his feet. Jacare recovered quickly, as Weidman continued to sting the Brazilian with a crisp jab. Jacare continued to plod forward, but offered up little to zero offense until about 30 seconds remaining in the round, drilling Weidman with some solid body shots and a right hand that grazed his head.

Weidman started the second stanza with low kicks downstairs and combinations upstairs, as Jacare just kept his hands glued to his cheeks, looking to just barrel himself inside. And once he was able to get inside, Jacare began to dirty box the hell out of “All American,” as well as work his body. Weidman responded with a big shot that appeared to hurt Jacare, but he switched into Zombie Mode and just decided to throw all caution to the win and bang it out. It was his most effective strategy, although it came at a cost — blood was streaming from both nostrils. Jacare whiffed on a head kick late in the round, allowing Weidman to try and get a takedown, which he did; however, Jacare rolled and ended up on top, bouncing a punch off Weidman’s forehead as the round came to a close.

Heading into the third and final frame, the bout was seemingly up for grabs. Jacare continued to attack Weidman’s body, but then he really started to score with hard head shots. Weidman responded with a brilliant knee to the face, which he followed up with an uppercut and double right hand shortly thereafter. Jacare then hit him with a huge right flush on his temple that sent Weidman backward — almost in slow motion — and totally out of his mind. Weidman wasn’t out, but clearly he was out of it. Jacare stood over him, refusing to add insult to injury, but the referee did not stop it. So Jacare had no choice but to ding him a few more times until the referee realized that Weidman’s lights were on, but no one was really home.

Prior to the stoppage, Weidman looked really, really sharp ... especially after such a long layoff. But, Jacare is one of the best, most durable fighters in the sport and he showed that tonight. Perhaps it was impressive enough to finally earn the Brazilian a long-awaited — and much-deserved — UFC title shot.

For complete UFC 230: “Cormier vs. Lewis” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.