Jack Hermansson came into the fight with Ronaldo Souza as a betting underdog. He left the newest middleweight candidate for a clear unanimous decision victory against one of the division's best fighters.
Hermansson (20-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) was successful both on the ground and on the feet Jiu-Jitsu ace Souza (26-7 MMA, 9-4 UFC) pulled off the scorecards on a volume basis in front, while "Jacare" strove for a big goal. In the end, all three judges scored the fight for Hermansson and gave him with 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47 the biggest success of his career.
The Middleweight Contest was the main event of Saturday's UFC on ESPN + 8 Show at the BB & T Center in Sunrise, FL, near Fort Lauderdale. It ran on ESPN + after preparations for ESPN and ESPN2.
It took all five grueling rounds, but Hermansson was closest to the end of the fight after he had injured Souza with punches in the first.
While he could not finish the unconventional Arm-In-Guillotine on Souza as he does with others, he came close enough to show he was here to win, whether or not someone else or not I thought he had a chance.
Hermansson controlled most of the second round on the mat after knocking down Souza and then engaging in strikes near his guard. He was not afraid of the dangerous ground game of Souza. After Souza had come back in the third part with body punches and hard overriding rights, it seemed like Hermansson was dwindling.
But Hermansson recovered with punch-flurries and a superior performance in the fourth and fifth rounds, with one remaining The bloody and increasingly desperate Souza followed him and looked frustrated as Hermansson refused to stand in one place.
Instead, Hermansson beat away Souza with punch combinations and pushed him down to stop his progress and make a clear statement that the judges could make. One should not ignore it when the fight came to an end.
The unanimous decision victory gives Hermansson his greatest success so far and he made it clear in his remarks after the fight that he is likely to move further towards the UFC middleweight title.
Hermansson has now won four UFOs in a row, with his last defeat coming back in 2017. Souza has lost two of his last three.
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