Finishes Reign in Connecticut (UFC Fight Night 50 Review)

UFC Fight Night: Jacare v MousasiThe MMA world is not an extremely large one as everyone seems to know everyone else and they all run the in the same circles. There are only a small number of promotions that see the top fighters and so two fighters from the same division are likely to run into each other at some point if they fight long enough. That was the case for Gegard Mousasi and Ronaldo Souza who met much earlier in their careers during the Dream 6: Middleweight Grand Prix in 2008. That fight was the second fight of the night for both men as they participated in the tournament style card. They met in the finals of that card to determine the Middleweight Grand Prix championship. In that fight two men looking to be named the best in the middleweight division faced off for only a short time. With the fight on the ground Souza looked for a submission from the top but as he was looking for the finish he ate big upkick form Mousasi. That kick ended the fight quickly in a brutal KO win for Mousasi who became the Grand Prix champion. Both fighters would move on to bigger and better things after Dream 6 and eventually found their way to the UFC. While in the UFC both Mousasi and Souza have impressed many and have rocketed up the rankings towards the middleweight division. Before they can get that title shot though they will meet for the second time as they entered the octagon with the future of their careers on their mind. For Souza it was a little different though as the first fight between these two was not his best showing. The Brazilian has only had three losses in his career but the loss to Mousasi may be his worst. Souza never really got to showcase his talents in the fight as he immediately went for the takedown and got caught with the upkick. It was a brutal knockout and one that Souza would much prefer to forget. If he could get the win against Mousasi in impressive fashion forgetting that first loss may get much easier. Meanwhile Mousasi was simply worrying about showing that he is truly the better fighter of the two. More importantly for both fighters was the fact that they were both ranked in the top 10 of the middleweight division and a win would be a step towards a title shot that both fighters have been heading towards. They have both been impressive in their time in the UFC and despite only having three fights each as a part of the UFC their long MMA careers have helped them get recognition near the top of the rankings. The fight itself was a matchup of two very well-rounded fighters that have made most of their careers on the ground. They both don’t mind standing up but there are more comfortable on the ground. When it comes to the standup game Mousasi seemed to have the advantage with a solid boxing game. On the ground Souza seemed to have a slight edge with vicious BJJ that sees “Jacare” constantly attack and look for finishes. When both fighters met in the octagon it was clear that both had evolved from where they were in Dream 6. Souza showed it the most as he continued to prove that his stand-up game was getting just as good as his ground game. He still continued to use his striking to set up the takedown though as a few big shots here and there hurt Mousasi but not enough to end the fight. Instead Souza ensured that Mousasi did not just move around him and use his boxing to keep Souza away. While on the ground Souza showed his unique attacking BJJ style and looked for submission after submission hoping to end the fight early. Souza finally got what he was looking for in the third round of the fight when he locked in a guillotine choke that forced Mousasi to tap out. The loss for Mousasi was his second of his UFC career as he continues to try to find consistency as he hopes to be back near the top of the middleweight division. The win for Souza was a big one and is sure to put him in the conversation for a title shot if not a top contender fight.

Although the main event was a good matchup between two very good middleweights many had an eye on the co-main event as one of the best fights of the night. The co-main would pit two big heavyweights against each other in a fight that was sure to see plenty of big punches as both were going to look for the finish. A finish for either fighter was needed as neither was part of the rankings coming into the fight. A big reason for that was the layoff that each fighter had just come off of. Overeem had not been in the octagon since the beginning of 2014 while Rothwell had been out of the octagon for just over a year. That had put both fighters out of the conversation for a title shot with this fight being the key to either fighter entering the rankings. It was not going to give them a title shot off of the bat but an impressive win could put them on track to move their way up the rankings. For Rothwell it was a chance to finally breakthrough after a very long MMA career. He could be one of the most experienced fighters in the FUC after beginning MMA training at 17 years old. Since then he spent time in the local Illinois circuit until moving to the IFL. He eventually joined the UFC in 2009 with a record resembling a potential great fighter. While in the UFC Rothwell had shown an ability to end fights but could never put a number of wins together. With a new gym and a renewed attitude Rothwell entered the octagon looking to start a win streak against a big name in MMA circles. Both fighters were sure to stand up with Overeem coming from a kickboxing background while Rothwell had shown time and time again that he prefers to stand and knock people out. Rothwell did that once again this time the fight was as predicted. Both fighters stayed standing until Rothwell caught Overeem with a big right hand that dropped the former Stirkeforce champion. Rothwell jumped on the chance and finished the fight putting a big name in his win column. That will help the lifetime MMA fighter get some recogniaiton as he will likely move into the rankings of the heavyweight division but will have a few more fights to win in order to get the title shot. Meanwhile Overeem took the loss and continues his inconsistency in the UFC while hoping to stay on in the promotion with another chance to move into the rankings.


Fight Bonuses

Performance of the Night
Ronaldo Souza came into UFC Fight Night 50 looking to make an impression and get some revenge against Gegard Mousasi, which is exactly what he did with a big submission win and a fight bonus

Performance of the Night
The co-main event was a highly anticipated matchup between two hard hitting heavyweights and it did not disappoint as Ben Rothwell took the win over Alistair Overeem with a knockout worthy of a Performance of the Night bonus

Fight of the Night
It may not have lasted too long but the fight between Joe Lauzon and Mike Chiesa was a great way to start the main card with both fighters going all out in two rounds looking for the finish until the fight was stopped due to a cut above Mike Chiesa’s eye


Fight Results

Main Event:
Ronadlo “Jacare” Souza def. Gegard Mousasi
(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 3)

Main Card:
Ben Rothwell def. Alistair “The Reem” Overeem
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Matt “Meathead” Mitrione def. Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis
(TKO; Rd. 1)

Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon def. Mike “Maverick” Chiesa
(TKO; Doctor’s Stoppage, Rd. 2)

John Moraga def. Justin “Tank” Scoggins
(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 2)

“Ragin” Al Iaquinta def. Rodrigo Damm
(KO; Rd. 3)

Rafael “Sapo” Natal def. Chris Camozzi
(Split Decision)

Chris “The Real Deal” Beal def. Tateki “Tech” Matsuda
(Unanimous Decision)

Chas “The Scrapper” Skelly def. Sean Soriano
(Unanimous Decision)


Upcoming Events

UFC Fight Night 51: Silva vs. Arlovski (Saturday September 13th; 8:00 pm ET)
Brasilia, Brazil (Ginásio Nilson Nelson)
Main Event: Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva vs. Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski
Notable: Gleison Tibau vs. Piotr “Płetwal” Hallmann
Notable: Leonardo Santos vs. Efrain “Hecho En Mexico” Escudero

UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt vs. Nelson (Saturday September 20th; 1:30 am ET)
Saitama, Japan (Saitama Super Arena)
Main Event: Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt vs. Roy “Big Country” Nelson
Notable: Myles “The Fury” Jury vs. “The Fireball Kid” Takanori Gomi
Notable: Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama vs. Amir Sadollah

UFC 178: Johnson vs. Cariaso (Saturday September 27th; 10:00 pm ET)
Las Vegas, Nevada (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Main Event: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso [Flyweight Title]
Notable: Eddie “The Silent Assassin” Alvarez vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone
Notable: “Notorious” Connor McGregor vs. Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier

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