Pros react to Jan Blachowicz’s split decision win over Ronaldo Souza at UFC Sao Paulo

Jan Blachowicz, Ronaldo Souza

Jan Blachowicz stepped on foreign soil at UFC Fight Night 164 in Sau Paulo, hell-bent on making another jaw-dropping statement by defeating world-renowned jiu-jitsu ace and MMA legend Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

Both have been considered underdogs for different reasons.

Souza has wrongly been perceived as a washed-up contender with little to offer the light heavyweight division, while Blachowicz had yet to receive the respect he deserved as being more than simply a gatekeeper for other contenders to photobomb the title picture.

Jan Blachowicz (24-8) earned a Performance of the Night bonus after a second round knockout win over former UFC middleweight champ Luke Rockhold in July. It served as a much-needed bounce-back victory after he dropped a third-round TKO loss to Thiago Santos. Before the loss, he was riding a four-fight win streak with victories over Nikita Krylov, Jimi Manuwa, Jared Cannonier and Devin Clark.

There was hope heading into Saturday’s bout that a win over Souza might land him an even bigger fight with the end goal being a potential shot at a UFC title. The landscape at light heavyweight seems wide open at the moment, and it’s virtually a free-for-all bid for the golden ticket fight with UFC champion Jon Jones.

Ronaldo Souza (26-7-1) has already done more than enough to solidify a Hall of Fame-worthy MMA career if he chose to step away. Yet, he has continued on his unrelenting journey of putting on electrifying fights and chasing UFC gold.

He stepped into the cage on Saturday night coming off a decision loss to Jack Hermansson at UFC Fight Night 150 back in April. The loss served as a surprising step back after a highlight reel finish over former middleweight king Chris Weidman last November.

As the cage door closed and the lights dimmed, Souza and Blachowicz peeled away from the fence and marched to the center of the octagon with sheer determination to deliver fireworks in front of thousands at the Ginásio do Ibirapuera.

And then they felt each other’s power.

Rather than exchanging bombs, Jacare tried to utilize his head movement to close the distance and press Blachowicz against the cage, where he worked for takedowns and utilized his dirty boxing.

However, Blachowicz proved resilient enough to fend off every takewdown attempt and make it a stand-up fight. It wasn’t the most action-packed bout, but the judges still believed Blachowicz did enough to win a split decision.

Here’s what the MMA community was saying about the fight.

 

Who would you like to see Jan Blachowicz fight next following his split decision win over Ronald Souza at tonight’s UFC Sao Paulo? Sound off in the comments section PENN Nation!