Whittaker (18-4) vs. Souza (24-5)
Leading up to this fight I did not know anything about the sixth-ranked contender Whitaker of the middleweight 185-pound division. After this night Robert Whittaker's name will ring bells throughout the mixed martial arts community. Ronaldo Souza was the favorite to take home a victory in this bout. Ronaldo goes by the nickname "Jacare" which means alligator which speaks to his top level Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
1st Round ,
Whittaker started the match bouncing on his feet lurking on the outside of the cage, Souza took control of the center of the cage. Whittaker faked a couple of left-hand punches then threw a left hand that landed on the chin of Souza. Souza seemed to have lost his balance a little bit after that punch. Whittaker speed advantage was winning him the fight early as he was able to land quick punches and avoid and major attacks from Jacare. Whittaker continued to use his speed on the outside until Souza countered by tackling Whittaker against the cage looking to get a takedown. Souza was able to secure the takedown not once but twice. But, Whittaker made it up to his feet after both takedowns in about 20 seconds. Whitaker then dropped Souza with a left and right punch combo. Souza recovered back to his feet. The last minute of the round both martial arts displayed great technique offensively and defensively using their boxing.
Whittaker continued to look like a swift marksman as he weaved out of danger from any of Souza’s early attacks. THIRTY SECONDS into the 2nd round: Whittaker lands a powerful right-hand punch to the side of Souza's face and sent him to the canvas! Whittaker landed multiple punches as Souza worked for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu clinch from the ground up. Souza showed a lot of resilience as he worked for the clinch he began setting up his second and third move, Whittaker was wise to avoid any further work on the mat and returning to the standing and ready to fight position. Souza stood up, Whittaker stood in the center pacing towards Souza. Souza attacked with overhand right punches and attempted a takedown but was too far out of reach to pose a takedown threat. Both fighters returned to their feet. Whittaker displayed the speed advantage landing quick left-hand jabs to the center of Souza's face then a right-hand uppercut. Whittaker followed this up with a huge right leg kick that connected with the left side of Souza neck and head. Souza stood his ground while trying to get his composure. TWO MINUTES remaining in the 2nd round! Whittaker lands a right leg to the left side of Jacare’s face; Jacare was stumbling backward trying to avoid the oncoming rush coming from Whittaker, Whittaker connects with a right hook and another right hook. Souza falls backward, and Whittaker attacks, Souza using his Brazilian jiu-jitsu gained control of Whittaker's left forearm and wrist but Whittaker right hand was free, and he used the right forearm to attack Souza before the referee called the fight at 1:36 seconds remaining in round 2. This loss is only the fourth for Ronaldo Souza out of 29 total MMA bouts. A victory would have placed Souza in a position to meet with the #2 ranked fighter or champion of the middleweight division "The Count" Bisping. Now, Whittaker has all eyes on him; we'll have to see how this plays out. After the bout, Whittaker said he wants a fight with Bisping.
“Bisping owes me a fight.”. - Robert Whittaker