A defeated Souza not only fought Blachowicz in the Octagon, but he battled an illness in the lead up to the bout.
“I told the UFC I was coughing in a way that I can’t stop coughing, and this was 20 days ago,” Souza said after the event (via Mike Bohn of 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.”
Souza was also making his light heavyweight debut in this encounter, having previously competed at middleweight.
Despite being defeated this past Saturday Night, one thing Souza realizes is that he hung in there with one of the light heavyweight divisions best.
“I fought well against a top-level guy,” Souza said. "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.”
There is no word on the exact illness that Souza was battling through or when the fighter is expected to return to action.