It wasn’t the light heavyweight debut he had hoped for, but considering the circumstances, Ronaldo Souza believes he had a pretty credible showing in the UFC Fight Night 164 headliner.
“Jacare” lost a split decision to Jan Blachowicz at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo on Saturday night, but the Brazilian star revealed that he had been battling an illness leading up to the bout. However, the former Strikeforce champion claims that it didn’t hinder him against his Polish opponent.
“I told the UFC I was coughing in a way that I can’t stop coughing, and this was 20 days ago,” Souza said following the bout. “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.
“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.”
The 39-year-old Souza did his best to drag Blachowicz into his world, as he attempted multiple takedowns and engaged his foe in the clinch against the cage. That led to a slow-paced contest largely devoid of action, but despite his efforts, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt couldn’t get Blachowicz to the canvas. In the later stages of the fight, Souza claimed he was hindered by a leg injury.
“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.”
Souza has now lost three of his last four Octagon appearances, but he didn’t seem to be discouraged by the setback. For now, it appears that “Jacare” will continue to compete at 205 pounds.
“It’s my first fight at light heavyweight, and I fought a guy who’s at the top, a guy who just knocked out a former champion in Luke Rockhold, and I went in there and did five rounds, and I won, but unfortunately I didn’t take it.”