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Read on for UFC 198 main card results...
SOUZA vs. BELFORT
In the biggest fight of his career, No. 2-ranked middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza delivered the goods, dominating and stopping Vitor Belfort in the first round of their UFC 198 co-main event at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
“I deserve a title shot,” Souza said of a crack at the belt champion Luke Rockhold and challenger Chris Weidman will be fighting for on June 4. “I think I earned it.”
Belfort’s takedown defense was solid early on as he dodged the first two attempts from Souza, but Jacare got him to the mat on the third attempt, and he quickly bloodied his foe with his ground strikes. Referee Osiris Maia halted the action for the doctor to check the cut on the bridge of the nose, and after “The Phenom” was cleared, it was back to the mat. Belfort scrambled out of trouble and back to his feet, but was soon on his back again, with Souza firing off bombs from the top position. With Belfort unable to escape, Souza was in complete control, and at 4:38 of the first round, Maia stopped the fight.
With the win, Souza moves to 23-4 with 1 NC; the 39-year-old Belfort falls to 25-12.
More from UFC 198: Results | Postfight bonus recap | Miocic wins heavyweight title | Cyborg makes impact in Octagon debut | Souza, Ruan and Barberena win on main card | Maia, Santos lead Brazil sweep in 198 prelims | Little Nog, Moicano win in Fight Pass prelims | Backstage interviews: Stipe Miocic, Shogun Rua, Jacare Souza, Demian Maia | Octagon interviews: Miocic and Werdum, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira | FIGHT PASS prelims now on-demand | Best pictures from UFC 198 | See it again! Order the PPV
RUA vs. ANDERSON
Curitiba’s own Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, fighting at home for the first time since 2003, won a close three-round split decision over Corey Anderson in a light heavyweight bout.
Scores were 29-28 twice and 28-29 for the No. 8-ranked Rua, now 24-10; the No. 12-ranked Anderson falls to 9-2.
The former UFC light heavyweight champion had a solid first round as he worked his leg kicks and kept Anderson from establishing a rhythm. And he nearly finished the bout when he knocked Anderson down in the closing seconds, but the horn intervened.
Anderson went to his wrestling in round two, taking Rua to the mat in the opening minute. Rua scrambled to his feet, but Anderson remained locked up with him as they battled along the fence. When the two broke, Rua looked winded, and Anderson pinned him to the fence for a spell once more. Another Anderson takedown followed, and though Rua rose to his feet immediately, it scored more points for the Illinois native, who was again downed just before the end of the round.
Anderson kicked off the final round with a takedown, which didn’t please Rua or the crowd. Midway through the round, Rua got to his feet and he needed to make something happen. Unfortunately for the Brazilian star, Anderson picked up another takedown, and even as the two rose, the former Ultimate Fighter winner stayed in control against the fence.
BARBERENA vs. ALVES
Welterweight prospect Bryan Barberena took the “0” of his second consecutive opponent in the main card opener, following up his win over Sage Northcutt with an upset unanimous decision victory over Warlley Alves.
Alves (11-1) went for the finish as soon as the two fighters engaged, as he locked in a tight guillotine choke. Barberena (12-3) patiently waited for his time to escape and he got it, working his way back to his feet in the second minute. At this point, a fight broke out, with Barberena and Alves both getting after it with their striking game. The harder shots were being landed by the Brazilian, but the durable Barberena wasn’t far behind, and by the end of the round, he seemed to be the fresher of the two.
Cut under the left eye, Alves was beginning to show the wear of the fight on his face, but his body attack was keeping him in the lead as he marched forward. Fatigue was becoming an issue for the Brazilian though, which allowed Barberena to begin adding some more points to his own scorecard, and by the end of the round, the momentum had shifted to the Arizonan.
With gas tanks emptying and the fight seemingly up for grabs, both fighters dug deep and went to battle in search of the victory, with the judges having the unenviable task of choosing a winner between the two. But after 15 exciting minutes, it was Barberena becoming the first non-Brazilian to pick up a win on the UFC 198 card.