UFC Sao Paulo: Blachowicz Gets Split Decision Over Jacare

With the hope of maybe scoring a future light heavyweight title shot, Jan Blachowicz came out victorious in the main event of UFC Sao Paulo, defeating Brazil’s own Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, who was making his 205-pound debut, by split decision.

The fight was not the most action-packed, as it featured several unsuccessful takedown attempts by Souza throughout the five rounds, getting stuffed or countered just about each time by the Polish fighter.

In fact, not much happened in the opening frame, as Blachowicz stopped two takedown attempts, but he was so focused on Souza’s wrestling and grappling that he threw little to nothing. Souza, however, did manage to score some notable shots in the second, working his jab and scoring a hard right hand before the horn.

“Jacare” continued to work his jab in the third, but Blachowicz did the same, and he connected more and made Souza eat a body kick.

After a leg kick battle in the fourth, during which the crowd grew restless and held up their lighted phones — akin to the infamous UFC 226 fight between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis — the fifth saw little noted action, with two Souza takedown attempts again being eaten by Blachowicz.

All three judges scored the bout 48-47, with two judges giving the fight to Blachowicz, opposing the one who scored the fight to Souza.

The underwhelming fight topped what was ultimately considered a disappointing night for the UFC.

In the co-main event, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Paul Craig battled to a split draw. After Craig troubled and rocked Rua in the first, Rua held control on Craig in the second. The third saw Rua in top control for a majority of the round, again, but Craig seemed to do more noted work from the bottom. One judge scored the fight 29-28 for each, while a third scored it 28-28.

The biggest highlight from the card came from Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira, who scored another impressive finish by knocking out Jared Gordon in just under 90 seconds.

The prelims faired a bit better in terms of highlights, with James Krause pull from a come-from-behind knockout of Sergio Moraes, and Ricardo Ramos and Randy Brown pull off big submission wins.

UFC Sao Paulo main card (ESPN+, 8 p.m. ET)

Jan Blachowicz def. Ronaldo Souza via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

Mauricio Rua vs. Paul Craig goes to a split draw (29-28, 28-29, 28-28)

Charles Oliveira def. Jared Gordon via KO (Rd. 1, 1:26)

Andre Muniz def. Antonio Arroyo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Wellington Turman def. Markus Perez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

UFC Sao Paulo preliminary card (ESPN+, 5 p.m. ET)

James Krause def. Sergio Moraes via KO (Rd. 3, 4:19)

Ricardo Ramos def. Luiz Eduardo Garagorri via submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 1, 3:57)

Francisco Trinaldo def. Bobby Green via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Randy Brown def. Warlley Alves via submission (triangle choke) (Rd. 2, 1:22)

Douglas Silva de Andrade def. Renan Barao via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Ariane Lipski def. Isabela de Padua via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)

Tracy Cortez def. Vanessa Melo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

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