The middleweight division's rankings are facing a shakeup after UFC 230 in New York City at Madison Square Garden, and the night's co-main event between #3 Chris Weidman and #5 Jacare Souza.
Chris Weidman and Jacare Souza had never met in the cage, despite being near the top of the middleweight division for the better part of the decade. When they finally did, it created fireworks.
Weidman and Jacare unleashed an unbelievable striking battle across three rounds. Weidman found success with his jab and combos, and took round one. Jacare opened up his striking game with beautiful punches to the body to win round two. With the third round being the integral one, a slugfest ensued that saw Weidman catch a punch to the temple that knocked him out.
You can see an excerpt from our Fightful.com live coverage below.
Round Three: The round begins with Souza immediately attacking Weidman with leg kicks, Weidman responds by kicking Souza in the midsection. Souza also attacks Weidman with some left hooks to the midsection, Souza charges at Weidman while swinging away at him. Weidman returns the favor and swings away at Souza, the fighters clinch and exchange some blows. Weidman backs up Souza by landing an elbow strike followed by a straight right, Souza then nails Weidman with a kick to the midsection. Souza still finds a way to crack Weidman with some rights, Souza destroys Weidman with a right and he pounces on him with more strikes until the referee jumps in.
Official Result: #5 Ronaldo Souza def. #3 Chris Weidman by TKO via strikes (2:46, R3)
The fight looked to be over, but referee Dan Miragliotta allowed it to continue, despite Jacare's please. Souza was forced to land several more punches before the ref finally stepped in.
Weidman was originally scheduled to face longtime rival Luke Rockhold, before a plethora of injuries forced Rockhold out of the fight, and gave room for Souza to fill in. Souza's original opponent, Dave Branch, remained on UFC 230 and took on Jared Cannonier.
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