An absolutely huge matchup on the main card of UFC on Fox 24 saw Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza and Robert Whittaker, two of the biggest prospects in the middleweight division, square off in the first ever event to be held in the state of Missouri.
It was a massive fight for both men; Souza has been on the cusp of a title shot for a long time now and this would undoubtedly be the biggest fight of Whittaker’s fledgling career.
Souza (24-4, 1 NC before this fight) has been on an absolute killing spree for the last five years, winning 10 of his previous 11 fights with notable victories over the likes of Derek Brunson, Gegard Mousasi, and Vitor Belfort. His only loss was by way of split decision against the division’s other top contender, Yoel Romero.
— UFC (@ufc) April 16, 2017
Whittaker, too, has been smashing his way through the middleweight division, winning five in a row before this one and claiming the notable scalps of Uriah Hall, Rafael Natal, and Derek Brunson in his last three fights.
The New Zealand-born striker was 17-4, going into this one and he knew that a victory over his number three ranked opponent would enable him to push for a title shot of his own but he was solely focused on the man in front of him.
— UFC France (@UFC_France) March 5, 2017
“My future doesn’t go further than ‘Jacare,’” Whittaker said in a pre-fight interview. “If I were to look past him, I would be disrespecting him, and he’s a fighter I do not want to disrespect.
“He hits like a truck, and he’s got next-to-legendary jiu-jitsu. Thank God it’s not a jiu-jitsu match. We’re going to go out there, start standing, and it’s a fight. I think I have superior hands, I’ve got really good movement, I’m very fast, and I hit hard. If he can get around that, props to him.”
It promised to be an extremely interesting stylistic matchup for fans; the incredible jiu-jitsu of Souza versus the outstanding striking abilities of Whittaker.
If you didn’t see the full fight, this was not some flash knockdown, Whittaker DOMINATED Jacare on the feet, and scrambled terrifically the one time Jacare took him down.
— Zombie Prophet (@ZPGIFs) April 16, 2017
WATCH THE FINISH ON THE PLAYER BELOW: