Back in early 2017, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza suffered a second round TKO loss to Robert Whittaker.
The defeat was the first time he had been stopped since Gegard Mousasi landed a kick back in 2008 in the DREAM promotion.
Some wondered if maybe the former Strikeforce champion was nearing the end of an incredible career that includes wins over Vitor Belfort, Mousasi and Yushin Okami.
This past Saturday night at UFC on FOX 27, Souza erased those doubts, stopping Derek Brunson for the second time inside of the first round.
“I was able to show that I’m a great fighter,” Souza said. “I was just ready to win. I knew I did a great job (in training).”
Souza recovered from both a torn pectoral muscle and having his appendix burst. He now sits as one of the top contenders to the middleweight title, which will crown an interim champion next month when Luke Rockhold meets Yoel Romero.
“It’s very special and I thank God,” he said. “Winning and fight is what matters.”