The UFC was quick to find a new home for one of the biggest fights impacted by the recent cancellation of UFC 176. Middleweight contenders Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Gegard Mousasi will square off at Fight Night 50 in Connecticut. The key 185-pound battle will serve as the main event for the Sept. 5 card at the Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Souza currently holds down the No. 4 ranking and is in the midst of an impressive six-fight win streak. The former Strikeforce champion has produced five finishes during that stretch. He’s gone 3-0 inside the Octagon with victories against Chris Camozzi, Yushin Okami and Francis Carmont.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist is noted for his very dangerous ground game with 14 of his 20 victories having come by submission. The powerful Brazilian also showed in his first-round destruction of Okami that he’s vastly improved his striking skills in recent years. “Jacare” hasn’t experienced defeat since a 2011 decision loss in a Strikeforce title clash against Luke Rockhold.
Mousasi is coming off the finest effort of his UFC career against Mark Munoz. “The Dreamcatcher” made quite a statement against the Octagon veteran by dominating their main event clash at Fight Night 41 in Germany. Mousasi recorded a first-round submission victory and earned a Performance of the Night bonus. The former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has a 2-1 Octagon record with that lone setback coming against recent middleweight title challenger Lyoto Machida.
The No. 7 ranked Mousasi owns a career victory over Souza dating back to a 2008 contest in Japan. Mousasi knocked out Souza with an upkick in the first round to win the Dream Middleweight Grand Prix Final and become that promotion’s inaugural middleweight champion. While Mousasi is noted for his excellent technical striking, he does possess a solid all-around arsenal. He’s produced 30 finishes by knockout or submission in his 35 career victories.
This rematch shapes up as an excellent main event that will have major ramifications within the middleweight landscape. The winner could conceivably emerge as a future title challenger for current champion Chris Weidman.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports