Ronald “Jacaré” Souza defeated Vitor Belfort at 4:38 in the first-round for a TKO win at UFC 198 from Brazil. It was truly a dominating performance by Souza.
After the fight was called off, Belfort’s face was covered in blood. It was also a statement win for Souza.
Souza has 17 first-round finishes.
“I do what I do best,” he said in his post-fight interview. “Belfort is a legend, but I had to do what I do best.”
He was even asked if he would want to face the winner of Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold 2. It seemed like Souza would want the winner, which will come on June 4th at UFC 199 when the re-match happens after Weidman was shocked in the previous fight.
“First of all, I deserve a title shot and an opportunity,” Souza said. “When I faced Rockhold in Strikeforce, it was a referee’s first time — and he voted for Rockhold, which didn’t sit well with me.”
Souza improved to 23-4 with the win. Belfort dropped to 25-12 in his career.
This is the third TKO win at UFC 198. Besides Souza and Cris “Cyborg” Justino’s, there was also a TKO win by Antonio Rogerio Nogueria over Patrick Cummins, all in the first-round.
The two Brazilians are on a different course, as Belfort has lost two of his past three fights. His only win since May 2015 has come against Dan Henderson at UFC Fight Night 77 in Nov. 2015 when he knocked out Henderson in the first-round.
The 39-year-old Belfort is likely at the end of the round. Souze, whose 36-years-old, got back on the right track after losing to Yoel Romero on Dec. 12, 2015.
Before the loss to Romero, he had eight straight wins. He did not lose from March 2012 through April 2015.