‘Jacare’ Souza Demolishes Derek Brunson by First Round Knockout in UFC on FOX 27 Main Event

'Jacare' Souza earned his second knockout win over Derek Brunson on Saturday night

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza needed less than a round to finish Derek Brunson for the second time in their main event matchup at UFC on FOX 27 from Charlotte on Saturday night.

It had been nearly six years since the last time they met, but the result was almost identical as Souza demolished Brunson with strikes back in 2012 and did the same thing in 2018.

Of course the stakes were very high in this main event fight as “Jacare” was returning to action off a loss to middleweight champion Robert Whittaker last April before dealing with a pectoral injury as well as an appendicitis that kept him out of action for several months.

Once he stepped into the Octagon, “Jacare” looked as good as ever as he countered Brunson’s every offensive outburst while landing solid punches throughout the opening round.

Brunson is best known for his fast striking combinations, typically capped off by his powerful left hand that has put away more than a few middleweights in the UFC.

Unfortunately, Brunson kept leaving his chin open whenever he exploded forward with his offense, which allowed Souza to land his powerful counter right.

As effective as that punch was for the Brazilian, the end came after “Jacare” kept baiting Brunson with a series of low kicks before finally rocketing one up high that absolutely blasted him in the head.

As soon as the kick connected, Brunson stumbled towards the cage while falling down to one knee and that was the signal Souza needed to rush in to finish the fight. “Jacare” blasted away with a series of left hands that kept tagging Brunson until referee Dan Miragliotta saw enough to stop the fight.

Afterwards, “Jacare” didn’t want to call anybody out for his next fight but instead talked about his long road back to the Octagon after not being able to train for the better part of six months due to injuries and illness.

“Four months ago I was in the hospital,” Souza revealed. “I’m healthy today. I’m happy.”

While he wasn’t ready to call his shot, “Jacare” puts himself into position for another big fight in the middleweight division when he books his return later this year. A logical matchup would be a showdown with former champion Chris Weidman, who is also ranked in the top five at 185 pounds and coming off a win over Kelvin Gastelum in his last fight.

Meanwhile, Brunson falls to 2-3 in his past five fights while still searching for a win over a top five ranked opponent in the UFC.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.