Strikeforce Live Blog: Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza vs. Tim Kennedy Updates


HOUSTON -- This is the Strikeforce: Houston live blog for Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza vs. Tim Kennedy, a middleweight bout on tonight's Strikeforce card on Showtime happening from the Toyota Center.

Strikeforce will crown a new champion between Souza and Kennedy following former champ Jake Shields' departure to the UFC.

The live blog is below.




Round 1: The Texas crowd loves Kennedy, and we don't get more than ten seconds into the bout before the USA chant starts up. Kennedy circles around Jacare, gauging the distance and firing off the occasional counter punch. Jacare comes forward with a left hook and right hand and staggers Kennedy. The American gets his legs back under him and fires off a head kick that Jacare blocks easily. Jacare stings Kennedy with two more right hands against the cage. His striking looks greatly improved, while Kennedy seems like he can't get started. Kennedy misses with a wild right and Jacare makes him pay with a couple of short uppercuts. Kennedy charges forward in the final thirty seconds with a left hook-right straight combo that drops Jacare. The Brazilian recovers quickly, and they end the round back on their feet. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Jacare, though Kennedy might have stolen it on the judges' cards there at the end.

Round 2: Kennedy dives in with a Superman punch to start the second. He seems like he's ready to pick up the pace a bit after his late success in the first. A right hand at the end of a combo lands for Kennedy. An apparent slip puts Kennedy down for a second, but Jacare can't capitalize. Kennedy ties Jacare up and lands a knee to the body. Just before the final minute Jacare makes his first attempt to get the fight to the mat with a double-leg that Kennedy stuffs. Kennedy follows a nice leg kick with a Superman punch that just misses. Jacare lands a front kick right to Kennedy's face in the final ten seconds. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Kennedy.

Round 3: Kennedy presses forward after landing a leg kick and eats a hard right from Jacare that sends sweat flying off his head. Moments later Kennedy comes forward behind another, more successful punch combo that spins Jacare around before the end up in a brief clinch. Midway through the round the crowd grows restless with a momentary lull in action, but Jacare pacifies them by going on the offensive. Kennedy continues working on Jacare's lead leg with kicks. He ties the Brazilian up and puts him down with a leg trip, but Jacare is back up quickly. Kennedy's face is suddenly a bloody mess around his left eye. Jacare puts his jab to work in the final thirty seconds, with limited success. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Kennedy. Every round's been very close so far, so the judges' scorecards could be very interesting.

Round 4: Kennedy continues to pick on Jacare's lead leg with kicks, adding one to the midsection as well just for good measure. Jacare comes in with a hook and Kennedy tries to tie him up, though he can't hang on to the Brazilian. Jacare ducks under a Superman punch by Kennedy and tries for a takedown, but Kennedy fights it off. An unintentional kick to the groin by Kennedy prompts a pause in the action as Jacare recovers. The clock continues to run for a while before it's finally stopped. That might be surprising if not for so many prior officiating mistakes tonight. They go back to work after the restart, but neither man can land anything significant before the bell. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-10.

Round 5: Kennedy comes forward with a left hook that knocks Jacare up against the fence to start the final frame. A 'Ranger up!' chant starts up in support of Kennedy. It doesn't quite catch on like the USA one did. Kennedy's getting more aggressive now, coming after Jacare with combos that are mostly falling just short. And there's that USA chant again. Kennedy tries to clinch Jacare against the cage, but can't hold him. Jacare unleashes a few mean looking right hands and Kennedy blocks all but the last one. A brief takedown attempt by Jacare results in him getting around behind Kenndy for a few seconds, but he can't do anything with it. Jacare pops Kennedy's head back with a right and a left in the final thirty seconds. Kennedy shoots in the scoops Jacare up for a big slam in the closing seconds. That might have been enough to steal the round for him. MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 for Jacare.

Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza def. Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)


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