Despite a lackluster fight, Ronaldo Souza was proud of his effort against Jan Blachowicz largely due to his condition leading up to the bout.
Souza made his light heavyweight debut on Saturday against Blachowicz in the UFC Sao Paulo headliner. However, it was a dull and uneventful affair with very little action.
In the end, Blachowicz came away with the split decision victory as “Jacare” put in an underwhelming performance. However, considering he was ill leading up to the event, he believes he did his best given the situation:
“I told the UFC I was coughing in a way that I can’t stop coughing, and this was 20 days ago,” Souza said through an interpreter (via MMA Junkie). “We did a lot of exams and, first of all, I did treatment as if there was an allergy, and my doctor from Brazil here told (to do) a weird exam. … So 10 days ago was when I was diagnosed and on Monday was my last day taking antibiotics. I was going to give an interview, and when I did interviews I would start coughing and people would say, ‘What’s wrong?’ And I would say, ‘Nothing.’
“It didn’t get in my way. I was able to fight five rounds against a guy who was knocking everyone out in the light heavyweight division. I did my best to be here to fight. Unfortunately the victory didn’t come my way. It wasn’t a pretty fight. It wasn’t pretty for me, it wasn’t pretty for him, but I thought I won three rounds.”
Despite two losses in a row as well as four in his last six, Souza believes he can take many positives from the setback — even though he thinks he should have won:
“I fought well against a top-level guy,” Souza added.” He was knocking everyone out. I was able to use my strength and put him against the fence. He said that. I wasn’t able to impose my game and take him down. I tried to stop to attack in the fourth round because he hurt my leg, so that got in my way.
“… I’m going to be strengthened by this. It’s my first fight at light heavyweight, and I fought a guy who’s at the top, a guy who just knocked out a former champion in Luke Rockhold, and I went in there and did five rounds, and I won, but unfortunately I didn’t take it.”
What do you make of Souza’s thoughts?