Two middleweight stalwarts looking to earn their first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title shot met face to face at UFC 194. Ronaldo Souza (22-4) and Yoel Romero (11-1) did battle at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Romero threw out a high kick early in the opening frame. Souza threw two heavy right hands that found air. “Jacare” connected with a kick to the body. Souza threw an uppercut to the body. “Soldier of God” dropped “Jacare” with a spinning backfist. Surprisingly, Romero followed Souza to the ground and threw punches with vicious intentions. He defended a submission and landed some hard elbows. He escaped an armbar attempt and the round came to a close.
Romero didn’t pounce on his opponent right away, who looked wobbly heading into round two. “Jacare” whiffed an upkick. Souza latched on to Romero, looking for a takedown. Referee Marc Goddard warned Romero of holding on to the fence and took away his top control. Souza landed a right hand followed by another to the body. “Soldier of God” looked to be conserving energy or was just tired as his output slowed down considerably in round two.
Souza connected with a leg kick at the start of round three. Romero landed a straight left hand. “Jacare’s” takedown attempt was thwarted. An uppercut found its home for the “Soldier of God.” Souza tagged Romero with a few shots and took him down. He connected with some punches in top control. Hard elbows found the mark for “Jacare.” Romero popped back up as the final horn sounded.
Final Result: Yoel Romero def. Ronaldo Souza via split decision (29-27, 28-29, 29-28)