One of the biggest fights right now in the middleweight division will take place when #2 ranked middleweight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza faces off against #5 ranked Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 224 in Brazil this Saturday night. Prior to the event, let’s take a closer look at the two warriors who occupy the co-main event spot on the first PPV event in Brazil since June of last year.
Jacare is the definition of a complete mixed martial artist. He has countless Brazilian jiu-jitsu accolades and has been a professional MMA fighter since 2003. Despite being so dominant on the ground, Souza has developed a fantastic wrestling base and has a tip-top stand up game to match. The former Strikeforce middleweight champion has a 25-5 record and has fought, and beaten, some of the best fighters in middleweight’s MMA history, names include Robbie Lawler, Gegard Mousasi and Vitor Belfort. But despite multiple performances of the night awards, the sixth-degree black belt has never fought for a UFC belt. But he’ll be hoping with the right result over Gastelum he will finally get his chance to carry the torch for the UFC’s middleweight division.
Kelvin Gastelum knocks out boxers, submits legit BJJ practitioners, and outwrestles all Americans. Gastelum has surpassed expectations since moving up to middleweight after a troubling time at welterweight cutting weight. Critics always thought that Gastelum seemed too small to trouble the guys at the top of the middleweight division, but the 26-year-old is proving them all wrong. Gastelum has a 14-3 pro record but he possesses all the tools to make it a difficult night for his Brazilian opposition. The Californian impressed in his last fight when he knocked out former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping in an impressive fashion, earning him this fight with the #2 contender of the division.
A few people have asked me who I believe is going to take this fight, I have a sneaky suspicion that Gastelum might upset the apple cart a little bit. I think the Californian has it in him to knock out Jacare early and get the job done inside two rounds. But the unknown outcomes are what makes mixed martial arts so appealing. This fight is there for the taking for both of these gentlemen.