In a fight with serious repercussions for the middleweight title picture, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza faced former UFC title challenger Yushin Okami at UFC Fight Night 28 on Wednesday night in Brazil
It was Okami’s first time fighting in Brazil since his 2011 defeat at the hands of Anderson Silva.
Jacare is renowned for his ground game and has some of the best Brazilian Jiu-jitsu credentials in the entire MMA world, but it was his striking that made the difference, as he snapped the Japanese fighter’s three-fight winning streak courtesy of a couple of perfectly timed right hands.
The first right hand came early in the round and stunned Okami, who was trapped up against the cage as Jacare looked to finish the fight with a frenzy of punches followed by a hard knee. The Japanese veteran, however, dug deep and survived the onslaught.
It proved to be no more than a temporary reprieve as another right hand from Jacare connected clean with Okami’s chin and this time there was no escape. The Brazilian swarmed all over him, raining down punches, forcing the referee to step in and call a halt to the contest.
It was a dominant performance from Jacare, who made a serious statement about his striking and has to be in the pole position for a shot at the middleweight title, although the question is whether he is prepared to sit on the shelf until after December’s UFC 168 rematch between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva.
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