All the circumstances around last night’s UFC 208 we’re plagued by weirdness.
From last minute illnesses on fight day, odd matchmaking, head-scratching scorecards, careless (if not completely irresponsible) refereeing, to underwhelming performances that made this shortened 10-fight card seem like it would go on forever. The night’s proceedings had a little bit of everything you don’t want from an MMA event.
The one finish in a night full of decisions, unblemished by any controversy, was Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza’s first round submission of Tim Boetsch.
Jacare landed a takedown at around the 2:30 mark of the opening round from where he was able to smoothly knee slide from side control to full mount. As Boetsch tried to escape, Jacare transitioned to a kimura rather than taking Boetsch’s back. The tap came with 1:19 left in the round, as Boetsch could no longer take the pressure on his shoulder.
This was a risky fight for Jacare. He has been in the top five of the middleweight division for years and was taking this fight to stay active since there is so much turmoil atop of the division. A loss against a lesser ranked opponent with powerful striking and on the last fight of his contract would do enormous harm to the 37 year old’s chances at the title.
That title, currently owned by Michael Bisping, is somewhat in limbo. With Bisping healing up from a recent injury, it’s not yet clear who the next contender will be. All signs point to Yoel Romero, but nothing is official just yet. After the fight, Jacare did his best to keep his name in the picture by once again claiming that Bisping is evading him.
“You think that UFC give me a real fight, and Bisping stop running from me,” he told Fox Sport’s Megan Olivi backstage, “that’s what it takes to me have a title shot and the opportunity to be the champion.”
He also seems willing to take on other fights if he doesn’t get the title nod.
During the post-fight press conference, he said “I want to fight the champion, but if that’s going to take a while, I prefer to take another fight because I don’t want to sit around, I wasn’t born to sit around. So I’ll take another fight if it’s going to take too long to get a title shot.”
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