Daniel Cormier defeated Derrick Lewis in the Heavyweight main event of UFC 230 last night, but the co-main promised to be an all-out brawl.
Originally scheduled to face old foe Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman instead faced Brazilian Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, as Rockhold had to pull out due to numerous injury concerns.
Ranked number three and five Middleweights in the UFC respectively, the fight was a chance for Weidman and Jacare to prove their credentials and potentially push their way up the standings.
Weidman wobbled Jacare in round one – it wasn’t enough to take the Brazilian off his feet – but the second round was more even, Souza throwing caution to the wind as he looked to put Weidman to sleep.
Two judges had Weidman winning both rounds going into the third-and-final, but it was all about to change for the New Yorker at Madison Square Garden.
Halfway into round three, Jacare cracked Weidman with a right hand to the top of the head that sent the American crashing to the canvas.
With Weidman looking completely out of it, Jacare stood up tall next to his body, but referee Dan Miragliotta deemed Weidman still able to compete and refused to stop the bout.
So Jacare reluctantly had no choice but to land three more hammer blows to the head of Weidman before Miragliotta eventually stepped in and called the fight off.
You can just tell from Jacare’s reaction that he knew that it should have been over ten seconds earlier.
Fans showed their respect for Jacare though for not wanting to punish Weidman anymore than he already had, after clearly seeing that he was pretty much out of the fight.
And referee Miragliotta came in for some stinging criticism off UFC fans.
The victory surely gives Jacare a chance of fighting for the Middleweight championship for the first time ever in the UFC soon.
He lost to current champion Robert Whittaker back in 2017, but the UFC is so unpredictable that roles could reverse should the two meet again.