On Friday, Sept. 5, the UFC hosted UFC Fight Night 50: Jacare vs. Mousasi 2 from the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn.
The night’s main event featured a long-awaited rematch between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Gegard Mousasi. The two former Strikeforce champions met previously under the DREAM banner in 2008 with Mousasi scoring a knockout via upkick. Since then, Jacare had torn through every fighter put in front of him inside the Octagon. The Brazilian rode a six-fight winning streak with five of the wins coming before the final bell. Mousasi, meanwhile, saw his aspirations for UFC gold take a step backwards in February with a decision loss to Lyoto Machida, but the Dutch-Armenian fighter bounced back in May with a first-round destruction of Mark Munoz.
In the co-main event, another former Strikeforce titleholder was in action as heavyweight Alistair Overeem took on Ben Rothwell. Overeem snapped a two-fight skid in February with a decision win over Frank Mir at UFC 169. Rothwell had been out of action since a third-round stoppage of Brandon Vera at UFC 164 last August.
The nine-fight card kicked off Friday with five preliminary card bouts on Fox Sports 1 at 7 p.m. ET. The four-fight main card followed at 10 p.m. ET, also on Fox Sports 1.
The last time Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Gegard Mousasi met, Mousasi emerged with the first-round knockout victory after landing an upkick that separated Jacare from consciousness. This time, it was Jacare who would emerge with the stoppage win. The Brazilian avenged his previous loss to Mousasi when he forced the Dutch fighter to submit to a guillotine choke. Much like in their first battle, Jacare scored takedowns and controlled Mousasi on the mat, but this time he also avoided Mousasi’s upkicks. The first two rounds featured Souza maintaining top position and attacking Mousasi’s arms in the closing seconds of the round. In the third frame, Jacare continued to apply his strategy until an opportunity opened up for the guillotine choke. Souza locked in the choke and coaxed the submission from Mousasi.
Alistair Overeem’s tumble from the upper echelon of the heavyweight division continued in the evening’s co-headliner. Overeem threw a high volume of kicks, knees and punches early against Ben Rothwell, but Rothwell landed an uppercut counter that staggered Overeem. The Dutch striker recovered, but Rothwell landed another big right hand that dropped Overeem. Rothwell followed the Jackson’s MMA fighter to the mat and finished him off via strikes for the TKO victory. Despite a win over Frank Mir in his last outing, Overeem is now 2-3 overall in the UFC and 1-3 over his last four contests. Rothwell, meanwhile, is now on a two-fight winning streak after the upset victory.
Matt Mitrione brought a quick end to Derrick Lewis’s night, halting the up-and-coming Legacy veteran’s rise through the UFC heavyweight ranks. Mitrione landed a punch and a forearm just seconds into the contest, flooring Lewis. Lewis attempted to recover, but Mitrione pounced on him and continued to punch away until referee Mario Yamasaki stepped in to save a dazed Lewis. The finish came in just 41 seconds of the opening round.
Joe Lauzon has developed a reputation as an entertaining fighter inside the Octagon, and he combined with Michael Chiesa to deliver another riveting performance. Unfortunately, a huge cut over Chiesa’s eye brought a premature end to the action. Lauzon came out of the gates and pressed the action, but Chiesa was able to land more punches on the feet. Chiesa and Lauzon each threatened to finish their opponent on the mat as well. The second round continued the back-and-forth war of the first stanza. During the exchanges, Chiesa sustained a cut over his right eye. The referee stepped in and called for the doctor, who would not allow Chiesa to continue. Lauzon was awarded the TKO victory.
Justin Scoggins evaded numerous guillotine choke attempts from John Moraga in the first round while maintaining top control, but he couldn’t repeat the performance in the second stanza. After scoring a takedown against Moraga, Scoggins found himself immediately trapped in a tight guillotine choke. Scoggins was forced to tap, giving Moraga the submission win.
After demonstrating superior striking for more than two full rounds, Al Iaquinta rocked Rodrigo Damm in the third frame and finished the Brazilian via TKO.
Despite fading in the third round, Rafael Natal was able to snag a controversial split decision victory over Chris Camozzi. Natal only scored a couple of takedowns in the fight, but he also landed enough combinations in the first two frames to sway two judges in his favor.
Chris Beal might have expected an easier fight against late-replacement opponent Tateki Matsuda, who was stepping in for Rob Font, but that was not the case. Matsuda put up a valiant effort, attacking with leg kicks early and keeping the fight close through two rounds. Beal found his rhythm with two minutes remaining in the second stanza. He closed out the middle round with an aggressive ground-and-pound attack and continued his top control into the third frame to secure the unanimous verdict.
Chas Skelly’s grappling was the deciding factor in his three-round battle with Sean Soriano. Skelly controlled Soriano throughout their 15-minute encounter to take all three rounds across the judges’ scorecards. Skelly enters the record books by recording his second UFC victory in just 13 days.