Saturday night’s main event and co-main event was a gloried race for a middleweight title shot. Each fighter knew the stakes at hand before heading into the event and one man emerged victorious. That fighter was Ronaldo Souza.
Souza proved to be dominant against a guy who was physically stronger than he was, though Francis Carmont appeared to be weaker when it came to the mental game. Souza was the shorter fighter and still found ways to get to the inside and unload a few shots before attempting takedowns.
Jacare also was able to fight an almost perfect fight with the exception a one hiccup that allowed Carmont to get in top position, which was short lived. For an opponent who came from the highly touted Tri-Star gym, Carmont looked mediocre against Souza. Souza just had a great night, even though he did not finish “Limitless.”
For Lyoto Machida, he also had a great night but didn’t look as crisp as he usually does. Gegard Mousasi is a kickboxer by trade and was able to land a few shots on Machida. Though it was few and in-between, Mousasi proved that he could at least close the distance against the elusive Machida.
One surprising thing Mousasi was able to do was take Machida down. Machida typically has decent takedown defense, but Mousasi was able to exploit that a few times. Chris Weidman, who is a better wrestler than Mousasi, would be able to take Machida down even more and probably hold him down for a longer period of time.
Weidman would also push the pace a little more than Moussai. The Iranian let Machida dictate the pace, which is a death sentence to anyone fighting Machida. Weidman would not allow that to happen.
Between the two, based soley on Saturday night, Souza is the answer for a title shot. Machida should be about one fight away from a title shot. The only way that Souza may get the shaft is if the UFC decides to go for a style matchup, in which Machida and Weidman would make for a pretty interesting match up.