Jan Blachowicz spoiled another light heavyweight debut last night (Sat., Nov. 16, 2019) at UFC Fight Night 164 live on ESPN+ from inside Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, as the Polish fighter defeated former UFC middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in front of his hometown by way of split decision.
The first shot from “Jacare” came just 20 seconds into the first round. Souza didn’t land the takedown but did pin Blachowicz along the cage. Souza couldn’t do much offense and the two separated. Souza eventually worked his way back in again and fought wrists with Blachowicz as the clock ticked away. Blachowicz did try to land short elbows and uppercuts in the clinch, but not much action was taking place.
The second round saw both light heavyweights connect with early punches. Souza followed up with hard leg kicks, but Blachowicz returned his own. “Jacare” would once again pin Blachowicz along the cage in an attempt to take him down. The action separated and Souza found a home for another hard kick, but Blachowicz tagged him with a counter shot. Souza returned the favor with a flush right hand that backed the Polish contender into the cage.
In the third round, Blachowicz scored first with a crisp jab. He then advanced with combinations but ”Jacare” avoided damaged and tied it up along the cage (again). Both fighters looked like they wanted to throw punches to knock the other man out, but they refused to pull the trigger. Souza went back to his clinch game and Blachowicz didn’t do much to back him off.
In between rounds, Souza’s corner told him to target the left foot of Blachowicz, which they presumed to be broken.
Souza and Blachowicz were slow out of the gate in the fourth but then started to open up along the cage with countering combos. The action teetered off again and the Brazilian fans started to wave their cellphones in the air as a cry for entertainment. Souza would score another sharp kick as the damage became visible on Blachowicz’s leg and foot.
The fifth and final round began with Blachowicz attacking with kicks. Souza walked through the shots and worked his way inside yet again. Blachowicz would shake Souza off and back him up with punches, but the Brazilian shot in like a cannon to control Blachowicz against the cage. After little action the referee separated the two men.
The reset ended up helping Blachowicz as he clipped Souza with a quick uppercut. “Jacare” wobbled for a second as Blachowicz threw more offense. Souza was able to pull through with the two fighters producing little fireworks for the rest of the round, raising their hands in the air before the final bell even sounded.
After five rounds of main event action, it was Blachowicz who did enough on the judges’ scorecards, earning the split-decision win. It’s the second fight in a row that Blachowicz has spoiled the light heavyweight debut of a former UFC middleweight contender, having knocked out Luke Rockhold back in July.
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