This looked like an extremely close fight on paper and that was shown in a split decision verdict in favor of Yoel Romero who had Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza badly rocked in the opening round of the fight tonight at UFC 194 in Las Vegas.
Romero circles on the outside. Jacare with a low kick. Romero hits hard with a kick to the body. Solid right hand for Jacare.
Body punch from Jacare as Romero continues to move around on the outside. Kick from Jacare. Both men pawing out with punches. nice right hand for Jacare to the head, then lands to the body too.
High kick attempt from Romero that’s blocked. Jacare tries to land with a front kick to the face, but doesn’t quite find the mark. Romero with a quick punch.
Front kick to the body for Romero. Jacare misses with a punch. Overhand from Romero knocks Jacare off-balance, but it wasn’t a clean connection.
Romero doubles up on the jab and lands the second one. Romero suddenly throws a kick then lands a spinning backfist and Jacare is rocked! Jacare on his back and motioning Romero into his guard though. Romero opts to follow the BJJ master down to the mat. He’s looking to lands some hard ground and pound. BIg punches flying from Romero here. So far Jacare not able to throw up any kind of a submission as this offense rains down.
Jacare almost cinches up an arm triangle from the bottom. Romero gets away from that and lands hard offense. Jacare with an armbar attempt, but Romero gets out of that and stays on top with Jacare on his knees looking to land more punches as the round ends. Jacare looks groggy as he tries to get back up and staggers over to his corner.
Jacare stalling for time before the round starts. He’s still trying to get his bearings after being badly hurt in the previous round.
Jacare feels out with the jab. Romero misses with a knee stomp, but lands a front kick to the body. A bit of a lull in the action and Jacare might welcome that, but he’ll need to get busy soon. He tries to go into a takedown, but Romero stuffs it and they get back up.
Jacare with looping left and right hooks to the head. Jacare blasts into a takedown attempt and Romero escapes it. Jacare determined though and continues to battle for a takedown. They wrestle for the position and eventually they do hit the mat, but Romero ends up on top. However the ref stops and says Romero get on top because he held onto the cage so he gets warned and the two men stand up and resume the action on the feet.
Romero lands with a punch and Jacare lands to the body in return. Body kicks from Jacare. Leg kick for Jacare now and tries to get into the takedown which is shrugged off by Romero.
Jacare with a punch to the body. A minute left in the round. A slight stalemate, then a front kick from Romero. Jacare with one of his own now.
Hard leg kick from Romero and Jacare stumbles a bit from it. Romero looking for a body kick as the round ends.
Onto the final round then. Pity this isn’t a five rounder really, it deserves to be. Romero with a body kick and then a brief exchange of punches from both men.
Front kick to the body from Jacare, then a leg kick. Romero almost ducks head first into a kick from Jacare, but luckily for him it whistles past his head.
Front kick to the body and a left hand from Romero. Leg kick from Romero. Punch from Romero and Jacare tries to take him down, but it’s stuffed. Body kick for Jacare.
Leg kick from Romero and then a left hand that Jacare felt. Another left hand from Romero. Jacare with a left and a right and Romero might be a little wobbled. Romero against the cage and Jacare tees off. Romero definitely hurt, but fighting nonetheless, but that allows Jacare to finally land a double-leg takedown on the Olympic silver medalist wrestler.
Jacare on top with a little over two minutes to work. Jacare in half guard. He starts landing a series of hard elbow. Now punches to the face as well. Jacare continues to work on ground and pound from half guard and Romero’s trying to land a few cuffing punches from his back.
Less than a minute to go. Jacare needs to put his foot on the accelerator her if he wants a finish. Action slows a little. 16 seconds to go and Jacare is trying to trap his arm, but Romero manages to force his way back to his feet. Jacare stays in the clinch until the final bell sounds.
This fight was crying out for a fourth and fifth round, but unfortunately we’re headed to the scorecards after three. The judges have made their decision and it’s Yoel Romero who gets the victory by split decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-28), with that big first round in which he had Jacare rocked being a big factor in the outcome with one judges seeing that as a 10-8 round. Who won the closely fought second round is likely to be a point of debate in the coming days though.