But that was the extent of it, as Ronaldo Souza otherwise dominated the first and third rounds of their fight. Souza made his statement near the top of a hot middleweight division as he rolled to his sixth consecutive victory. The former Strikeforce champ won via unanimous decision, taking scores of 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27.
"It was a very tough fight, he's a very good fighter," said Souza (20-3, 1 no-contest). "I really wanted to end it before the end but I didn't manage."
The fighter known as "Jacare" got right down to business, dropping Carmont and taking his back early in the first round. He got the Tri-Star fighter into a deep choke and did everything but get him to tap. Carmont somehow escaped and survived the round.
Carmont, who was cornered by former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre had his best round in the second. Carmont's became noticeably more confident as the round went along as his jab landed early and often.
But Souza righted the ship in the third round, once again getting Carmont off his feet early and working hard for a rear-naked choke. Several times it appeared the fight was close to coming to an end, but Carmont, who had an 11-fight win streak snapped, hung on until the final horn.
"There were three times when I thought I was very close to finishing him," Souza said. "But he was a very tough fighter and I couldn't."
"I want the champ, I want whoever has the belt," said Souza, who mentioned he went into the fight with an arm injury. "And if the UFC wants doesn't think I'm ready for it, put someone else in front of me and I'll defeat them too."