RONALDO SOUZA MADE a statement of intent on Saturday night when he handed Derek Brunson a first-round defeat at UFC on FOX 27.
The eight-time World Jiu-Jitsu Championships gold medalist punished Brunson despite an early takedown, with a critical left uppercut succeeded by a host of left hooks before referee Dan Miragliotta brought the bout to a close.
The pair met for a rematch of their 2012 meeting at Strikeforce, with Saturday’s win in North Carolina the Brazilian’s third victory in four, which takes the 38-year-old’s record to 25-5-1.
The victory means Jacare, who recently relocated from Brazil to Orlando, remains in the middleweight title picture.
He is currently ranked third behind Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold, who fight for the interim title at UFC 221 on 11 February while reigning champion Robert Whittaker continues to recover from illness.
UFC on FOX 27
- Ronaldo Souza def. Derek Brunson KO (head kick and punches) 1 3:50
- Andre Fili def. Dennis Bermudez Decision (split) (29-28, 27-30, 29-28) 3 5:00
- Gregor Gillespie def. Jordan Rinaldi TKO (punches) 1 4:46
- Drew Dober def. Frank Camacho Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) 3 5:00
- Bobby Green def. Erik Koch Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) 3 5:00
- Mirsad Bektić def. Godofredo Pepey TKO (body punch) 1 2:47
- Katlyn Chookagian def. Mara Romero Borella Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) 3 5:00
- Randa Markos def. Juliana Lima Decision (unanimous) (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) 3 5:00
- Ji Yeon Kim def. Justine Kish Decision (split) (29-28, 28-29, 30-27) 3 5:00
- Vinc Pichel def. Joaquim Silva Decision (unanimous) (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) 3 5:00
- Niko Price def. George Sullivan Submission (rear-naked choke) 2 4:21
- Cory Sandhagen def. Austin Arnett TKO (punches) 2 3:48
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