Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza erased the memory of his highly questionable decision loss to Yoel Romero from December on Saturday night, taking out Vitor Belfort in the first round at UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil.
Souza seemed extremely energized as he walked out through the 45,000-strong crowd, and the fight was all his from the outset. He took Belfort down early, landing some significant damage before his momentum was halted by a stand up to check on a cut on Belfort’s nose. After the reset, Belfort managed to get to his feet, only to wind up pulling guard against the cage.
That proved to be his doom, as Souza fought through a couple of head kicks, landed some significant strikes, and then easily passed to mount. From there, he was relentless in his attack, bloodying Belfort up and battering him with punches and elbows from the top while posturing up. Belfort eventually quit fighting back, and the referee mercifully brought an end to the fight with just 22 seconds left in the opening round.
After the bout, the 36-year-old Souza called for a title fight against the Luke Rockhold-Chris Weidman II winner, and said he would finish Rockhold this time around should that be the matchup.
[Photo (c) Jason Silva via USA Today Sports]
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