In the co-main event of UFC 230, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza earned the TKO victory over Chris Weidman in the third round, bouncing back from his loss earlier this year to #1 contender Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 224. Souza’s victory was definitive, but not without controversy. After Jacare Souza landed the right hand that dropped Chris Weidman, it appeared that Weidman was immediately defenseless and no longer fully conscious. Souza protested to the referee to stop the fight to avoid inflicting further damage on the former middleweight champion, but much to Jacare’s discomfort, he had to land additional strikes to Weidman for the fight to come to a close. (Transcript Via MMA Junkie):
“I knew that, when my hand connected, the fight would be over,” Souza told reporters at the UFC 230 Post-Fight Press Conference through a translator. “I was feeling, in the third round, that he didn’t have as much power as in the first. So when my hand connected, it was the end.”
“I was very upset,” Souza said. “I saw it was over. My hand landed there, and he fell very badly. I didn’t need to give those two extra blows. I warned the referee (Dan Miragliotta), but unfortunately, I had to hit (Weidman) for the referee to stop the fight.
“I don’t say anything (to the ref). I’m in there to fight, I can’t talk to the referee. But I did a gesture, like, ‘He’s done. He can’t fight anymore.’”
After the fight, Jacare’s direct family encouraged Souza to reach out to his fellow member of the MMA family to ensure that he was OK following the brutal finish to the fight:
“Before we’re fighters, we’re family men,” Souza said. “I have my wife. I have my children. He has his wife and his children, too. And I’m a fan. I follow him on social media. So our family likes him, because I talk about Chris, I talk about the great person that he is.
“So, when that happened, my wife told me, ‘Go to the locker room and talk to him, see how he’s doing, see if he’s OK.’”
And as evident by Jacare’s Instagram post later in the evening, Weidman is doing just fine, and the family is stronger than ever:
Do you believe there is any justification for the referee not stopping the fight after Jacare’s right hand that dropped Chris Weidman?