Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza showed at UFC Fight Night 28 in Brazil that he is ready for any middleweight in the world. It was a dominating performance by the former Strikeforce champion as he hammered proven veteran Yushin Okami until referee Leon Roberts had seen enough at just two minutes and 47 seconds of the opening round.
The fight began with Souza showing off his improved power in the striking game, as he buzzed Okami early and had him up against the cage taking some serious blows. “Thunder” was able to weather that storm, but another right hand later in the round left him reeling again, and Souza finished the proceedings with a flurry of punches. The only down side for “Jacare” was that he suffered a foot injury delivering a kick during the fight.
Okami has been in with the best the UFC has had to offer during his lengthy and successful career with the organization, and it’s been rare to see him so absolutely manhandled the way he was by Souza. “Jacare”, who is one of the best submission players to ever enter the Octagon, has clearly become the complete package with the improvements he has shown in the striking department.
His right hand has become a formidable weapon, and he’s shown himself to be a threat both standing and on the ground, which poses problems for any fighter at 185 pounds.
It’s now five consecutive victories for “Jacare” since his last loss in Strikeforce to Luke Rockhold. Given the quality of the opponent in Okami, it definitely marks his best performance during this current streak. Okami had been hoping a victory would allow him to possibly make another run at a title shot, but that notion vanishes with the resounding defeat.
Souza has made a major statement to the rest of the middleweight division and if champion Chris Weidman is successful in his rematch against Anderson Silva at UFC 168, Souza should get serious consideration as his next title challenger. “Jacare” is definitely in the title picture after his very impressive performance.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports