Both Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Luke Rockhold dazzled Dana White with their UFC on FOX 15 performances on Saturday night, so much so that the UFC president can’t decide on a clear cut emerging number one contender for the middleweight throne.
At the post-fight press conference for Saturday’s thrilling event, Dana White sang the praises of Rockhold and Souza and expressed his admiration of Chris Camozzi’s courage:
“Luke looked unbelievable tonight. Look at what he did, and who he did it to. Beating Machida like that is a big deal, and people are probably are going to say, ‘Jacare’ fought Chris Camozzi again.’ Let me tell you what, Chris Camozzi stepped up on six days’ notice to take this fight, and I agree with Chris Camozzi – he’s not the same fighter he was two years ago, and for a guy like Jacare, he had everything to lose and nothing to gain. He’s fighting the same guy, he’s not ranked – he didn’t complain about it once; he went right in there and he handled his business.”
“So we’re in a position right now where we’ve got two guys who looked unbelievable who could fight next for the title. It’s a good problem to have.”
Luke Rockhold and Lyoto Machida captained the Fox card, which saw a determined Rockhold stamp his authority in the Octagon with a supreme thrashing of Brazil’s Karate Kid in the main event. Many men have fallen prey to the enigmatic fighting style Machida presents in the Octagon, bewildering his opponents with a catalog of unorthodox striking techniques while fleeting in and out of combat with cunning footwork. Luke Rockhold cracked the Brazilian puzzle just two minutes into the second round.
Machida found himself tangled in Luke Rockhold’s spiderweb of jiujitsu, desperately scrambling for an exit, but ultimately unable to wriggle free of Rockhold’s labyrinth on the ground. Machida’s concussed hopes of a comeback were extinguished in the second round when Rockhold locked up a rear-naked choke, exhibiting perhaps one of the most dominant performances we’ve ever seen over the Black House product.
Jacare also impressed with his dominant first round stoppage of Chris Camozzi in the co-main event.The Brazilian overwhelmed Camozzi with his wrath of jiujitsu, slicing through the American’s guard like a hot knife through butter, eventually seizing an armbar midway through the round.
Both Souza and Rockhold are thriving on the UFC’s mainstage with impressive win streaks over top middleweight competition, but only one can emerge as a number one contender. Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort are set to collide at UFC 187 on May 23; Dana White says we’ll have to see how their championship tilt plays out before lining up either Rockhold or ‘Jacare’ as the next worthy contender:
“We’ll see how this thing plays out, we’ll see how Vitor vs. Weidman goes, and we’ll make a decision.”
(Transcripts via MMAJunkie)
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