The promotion’s #5 middleweight Kelvin Gastelum picked up a split decision win over the #3 Ronaldo Souza in the UFC 224 co-main event. Jacare owned the opening round, finding top position and keeping it for the bulk of the round. Gastelum came alive in the second round, even dropping Jacare with a stiff left hand, but Jacare did rally to land some effective hooks before time ran out. The final round saw both athletes slug it out for the bulk of the frame, with each man landing solid punches. A brief takedown was achieved for Jacare in the closing moments, but Gastelum quickly scrambled right back to his feet. When the dust settled, it was Gastelum who picked up two 29-28 scored to earn the nod.
UFC 224 co-main event:
Kelvin Gastelum def. Ronaldo Souza by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29) : Middleweight
Jacare shot in right away to open up the co-main event, but Gastelum was able to stuff it. From catching a kick, Jacare dropped down for a leg, but used it as a way to find top position. Gastelum gave up the full mount, and found himself in an armbar attempt, but luckily for him, time expired.
Gastelum came out swinging in the second stanza, causing a cut to form around the eye of Jacare. Gastelum seemed to be the fresher of the two athletes, and began to pick up the pace a bit. A hard left hand from Gastelum dropped Jacare, but Gastelum opted to avoid the ground game, and allowed his opponent to get back up. jacare continued to throw, landing several power hooks before the round ended.
A big right hand from Jacare landed flush, but Gastelum took it rather well. The output of Gastelum dwindled a bit in the final frame. The top middleweights continued to slug it out, with Jacare getting crafty with his hooks, and Gastelum looking to land the same left that brought him success in the second round. Jacare scored a brief takedown in the closing moments, but Gastelum was quick to get back to his feet before the clock ran out.
Look at Gastelum drop Jacare with this combo:
Check out Jacare digging deep: