Jacare Souza evened the score with Gegard Mousasi. | Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa/UFC/Getty
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was the better man this time.
The 2005 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist submitted Gegard Mousasi with a third-round guillotine choke in the UFC Fight Night “Jacare vs. Mousasi 2” headliner on Friday at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. Mousasi (35-5-2, 2-2 UFC) conceded defeat 4:30 into round three, as he tapped out for the first time in more than eight years.
Souza, who was knocked out by a Mousasi upkick under the Dream banner in September 2008, dominated the rematch from start to finish. The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt tuned up his punches at opportune times and executed takedowns in all three rounds, suffocating Mousasi with oppressive top control. Souza scored with a trip takedown with roughly 90 seconds left in the third frame, caught the choke with Mousasi in a seated position, closed guard and secured the finish.
The 34-year-old Souza (21-3, 4-0 UFC) has rattled off seven straight wins and has the look of a serious title contender at 185 pounds.
Rothwell Cuts Down Overeem
Ben Rothwell dismissed former Strikeforce champion and 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix winner Alistair Overeem with an overhand right and a burst of unanswered ground strikes in the heavyweight co-main event. Rothwell (34-9, 4-3 UFC) drew the curtain on the Dutch kickboxer 2:19 into round one.
Overeem seemed gunshy from the start. Though the Jackson-Wink MMA rep was effective with kicks and knees to the body, he could not keep Rothwell at bay. The monstrous Wisconsin native walked through Overeem’s shots, cracked him with a right hand to the temple and trailed him to the canvas, closing out the most significant victory of his career with a volley of right hands that forced referee Keith Peterson to act.
The 34-year-old Overeem (37-14, 2-3 UFC) has followed an eight-fight winning streak by losing three of his last four bouts.
Mitrione Dispatches Lewis in 41 Seconds
Matt Mitrione wiped out former Legacy Fighting Championship titleholder Derrick Lewis with a short, counter right hand-forearm shiver and follow-up punches less than a minute into the first round of their featured heavyweight encounter. Lewis (11-3, 2-1 UFC), who had never before been finished, succumbed to the blows 41 seconds into round one.
Upon their initial exchange, Lewis walked right into “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 10 alum’s right hand and forearm, collapsing where he stood. Mitrione (8-3, 8-3 UFC) then polished off the dazed 29-year-old with a volley of unanswered punches and hammerfists, putting an end to Lewis’ streak of five consecutive victories.
Lauzon Halts Chiesa on Cut
Joe Lauzon opened a gruesome cut on Michael Chiesa and forced a second-round stoppage in their wild, back-and-forth lightweight showcase. Referee Herb Dean called a halt to the fight on the advice of the cageside physician 2:14 into round two, much to Chiesa’s chagrin.
Lauzon (24-9, 11-6 UFC) seemed discouraged at times but walked through stiff jabs from the Sikjitsu representative in the first round, answering a takedown from “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 winner by sweeping to top position, transitioning to the back and fishing for a rear-naked choke. They exchanged on the feet late, building anticipation for round two. There, Lauzon tore into Chiesa’s body with punches and cracked him with a brutal knee from the clinch, opening a horizontal gash above his right eye. Dean called for the doctor soon after and, upon closer inspection, was advised to stop the fight.
The defeat snapped a two-fight winning streak for Chiesa (11-2, 4-2 UFC).
Moraga Guillotine Submits Scoggins
The world-ranked John Moraga submitted American Top Team prospect Justin Scoggins with a second-round guillotine choke in an undercard battle at 125 pounds. Moraga (15-3, 4-2 UFC) closed it 47 seconds into round two, winning for the ninth time in 11 outings.
Scoggins (9-2, 2-2 UFC) neutralized the Arizona Combat Sports-MMA Lab standout with takedowns and an active top game for much of the match. However, less than a minute into the second round, Moraga lured the kenpo karate black belt into the guillotine after surrendering a takedown, closed guard and squeezed for the stoppage.
The 22-year-old Scoggins has dropped back-to-back bouts.
Surging Iaquinta Stops Damm
Serra-Longo Fight Team representative Al Iaquinta stopped Rodrigo Damm with third-round punches and standing elbow strikes in a preliminary lightweight affair. A finalist on Season 15 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, Iaquinta (9-3-1, 4-2 UFC) drew it to a close 2:41 into round three.
Outside of a few right hands, Damm (12-8, 3-3 UFC) never posed much of a threat, as Iaquinta utilized a multi-pronged standup offensive to wear down the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. Damm finally broke in the third round. Iaquinta floored him with a right hand, allowed him to stand and went to work. He walked through a counter right from the weary Brazilian, staggered him with another clean blow to the head and earned the stoppage with three unanswered elbows.
Iaquinta, 27, has recorded four wins in his last five appearances.
Natal Edges Reeling Camozzi
Rafael Natal leaned on timely takedowns, occasional punching combinations and a handful of energy-consuming clinches in capturing a split verdict over Chris Camozzi in an undercard duel at 185 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Natal (18-6-1, 6-4-1 UFC).
Camozzi (19-9, 6-6 UFC) could not overcome a slow start. Natal bloodied his nose with an early multi-punch burst and struck for takedowns in each of the first two rounds. Camozzi found another gear in round three, where he uncorked straight punching combinations, mixing in a crisp body kick and a stout knee strike from the clinch. “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 11 alum rattled Natal with a right hand and poured on the punches late, but the finish he needed never materialized.
The 27-year-old Camozzi has now lost four fights in a row.
Unbeaten Beal Now 10-0
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 graduate Chris Beal kept his perfect professional record intact, as he picked up a unanimous decision over Tateki Matsuda in a preliminary bantamweight clash. Beal (10-0, 2-0 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 marks.
A replacement for the injured Dustin Kimura, Matsuda (10-6, 0-1 UFC) enjoyed long stretches of success on the feet, particularly with shin-to-thigh kicks to the lead leg. However, his decision to pursue ill-advised clinches and takedowns proved costly. Beal often countered into top position, achieved full mount more than once and unleashed elbow-laden ground-and-pound that drew blood and turned the tide in his favor.
The defeat halted Matsuda’s modest two-fight winning streak.
Skelly Grapples Past Soriano
Repeated takedowns and a relentless submission attack carried Team Takedown’s Chas Skelly to his second victory in 13 days, as he took a unanimous decision from Sean Soriano in an undercard scrap at 145 pounds. All three cageside judges scored it 30-27 for Skelly (13-1, 2-1 UFC), who replaced injured Team Alpha Male export Andre Fili on short notice.
Soriano (8-2, 0-2 UFC) failed to keep himself upright against the Texas-based grappler. Skelly controlled much of the match from top position, threatening the Blackzilians prospect with one rear-naked choke attempt after another. He also benefitted from some questionable officiating in the second round, where he struck for a takedown after an inadvertent groin strike. Soriano was given time to recover, but Dean restarted the featherweights on the ground, awarding the takedown despite the low blow.
Skelly fought through exhaustion in round three, where he executed another takedown inside the first minute, moved to his counterpart’s back and drew him into a series of scrambles, ultimately achieving full mount.