Another seasoned MMA veteran will decided to test his skills at a heavier division in the Octagon.
After an unexpected loss to late notice replacement Jack Hermansson back in April, perennial middleweight contender Ronaldo Souza will now move up to the light heavyweight division to take on hard-hitting Jan Blachowicz in UFC Sao Paulo’s main event.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the news to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.
One of the most decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts to ever compete under the UFC’s banner, Ronaldo Souza (26-7-1 NC) has not been the most consistent fighter for the past couple of years, alternating wins and losses all the way back 2017. During this time, the 39-year-old scored wins over Chris Weidman and Derek Brunson, but was bested by the likes of the aforementioned Hermansson, Kelvin Gastelum, and current champion Robert Whittaker.
With only loss in his past six outings, Jan Blachowicz might only be one win away from securing his place as the division’s number one contender. Fresh off a highlight-reel KO win over former middleweight champion Luke Rockhol, back in July, the 36-year-old was TKO’d by fellow contender Thiago Santos just before that, in February, but was on a four-fight winning streak up until the loss, defeating Devin Clark, Jared Cannonier, Jimi Manuwa and Nikita Krylov. In three of those bouts, Blachowicz was awarded a performance bonus.
Now, Ronaldo Souza and Jan Blachowicz are expected to headline UFC Fight Night 164, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 16. The card will also feature other notable names of the sport, such as a light heavyweight bout between veteran Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Trevor Smith, as well as a welterweight bout between The Ultimate Fighter vets James Krause and Sergio Moraes, among other matches.