The UFC hasn’t officially made any announcement on changes to May’s event in Brazil, but comments this week from Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza’s manager support a previous report that the event on May 14 will now serve as UFC 198 on pay-per-view.
Souza was initially announced as a headliner for the card against Vitor Belfort, but in an interview with MMAFighting.com last week, Gilberto Faria revealed that the bout between those two middleweights is now a three-round co-main event.
“‘Jacare’ is going in for a fight on May 14,” Faria said. “It’s confirmed we’re not in the main event anymore, but it’s not clear yet which is the main event. The fight went from five rounds to three, which favors Belfort.
“A five-round fight would favor ‘Jacare’ because of his endurance, as he’s fought five rounds before, and people see Belfort as a dangerous opponent in the first rounds, so he would have to be more careful in the early rounds. They are both going for the finish, so I never saw this fight going five rounds anyway.”
The event is now expected to be headlined by a Heavyweight Championship bout between Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic.
Penick’s Analysis: Though the UFC hasn’t made an official announcement yet, this is as close to a confirmation as we could get on the changes to the event. There’d be no other reason for this fight to be downgraded from the five round main event if it was still staying on Fox Sports 1. With that change, it’s all but assured that Fabricio Werdum’s next title defense – whether against Miocic or someone else – will come on this card.
[Photo (c) Jason Souza via USA Today Sports]
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