It was a classic striker versus grappler match at UFC on FOX 24 from Kansas City, Missouri as kickboxer Robert Whittaker looked to keep things standing against jiu jitsu assassin Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza. And keep it standing he did, landing a massive headkick to the Brazilian fighter halfway through the second round and finishing the fight with vicious ground and pound.
The first round saw Souza pull Whittaker to the ground with a slick back roll and start wrapping him up like a snake. But to Whittaker’s credit, he managed to shuck Jacare off and get back to his feet, and from there the two exchanged strikes for the remainder of the round. In round two, standing against Whittaker cost Souza as he got knocked onto his back and staggered. But Whittaker refused to engage on the ground, allowing Souza to recover on the mat and get back to his feet.
But it looked like Souza never quite recovered his full faculties as Whittaker’s attacks landed more often and harder than before. He caught Souza flush with an overhand right and kicked him upside the head as well, and things were not looking good for the Brazilan submission specialist. Another headkick dropped Souza and this time Whittaker pounced, hitting Jacare repeatedly until the referee stopped the fight in a hail of blood.
The UFC middleweight division has an interesting problem in that it’s almost too full of absolute killers. Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza stands near the top of that list, second only to Yoel Romero due to a split decision loss to the Cuban wrestler at the end of 2015. With Michael Bisping holding the middleweight belt and tied up possibly til the fall defending it against Georges St-Pierre, that’s left guys like Jacare looking to kill time … and opponents like the #6 ranked Robert Whittaker. Sadly, it’s never that easy and Jacare ended up falling, proving there’s no such thing as a safe fight in the UFC.