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UFC 230 results: Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza wins thriller over Chris Weidman

Ronaldo Jacare Souza Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Chris Weidman delivered the fans at Madison Square Garden a tremendous battle fitting of the moniker “The World’s Most Famous Arena” on Saturday night.

The duo battled tooth and nail for the better part of two and a half rounds in the middleweight co-feature bout of UFC 230, building to a climax that made it appear one strike could be all it takes to finish the fight.

And Souza was the one to deliver that final blow. Souza landed a wicked right hand to the temple a split second before Weidman could connect a left, giving Souza a TKO win at the 2:46 mark of the final round.

The battle of one of the sport’s best wrestlers in Weidman and one of it’s greatest jiu-jitsu practitioners in Souza ended up a riveting kickboxing battle. Weidman’s hands looked as sharp as they’ve over been as he landed crisp jabs and big overhands to the head and they body. Souza threw with bad intentions and mixed up his strikes to include kicks and body shots.

On and on this went, with both competitors giving it as good as the got, and with both also seeming to have their opponent on the ropes at various times.

Significant strikes were tied at 51 after two rounds, as the second featured the only ground action over the stanza’s final seconds.

Weidman appeared to be on his way to a potential win on the scorecards, as Souza, with an apparent broken nose, was breathing heavily through his mouth, right up until he landed his winning strike.

In an awkward scene, it was apparent Weidman was done, but the referee did not wave it off until a hesitant Souza landed four more punches.

Souza, however, refused to blame the referee for the slow stoppage.

“Its a sport more hard sport in the world, you need to have practice when me and Chris face off lot of respect,” Souza said. “The octagon is a war. It’s a real fight.”

Souza, the former Strikeforce champion who took the bout when Luke Rockhold was injured, improved to 27-6 (1 NC) with his second victory over his past three bouts. It was his 22nd victory via finish. Weidman (14-4), the former UFC champion, has now dropped four of five.

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