Kelvin Gastelum’s rise up the middleweight rankings continued at UFC 224, as the heavy handed fighter got by vaunted grappler, “Jacare” Souza.

Souza came out hunting for a takedown, and ended up moving the bout to the floor by rolling for a leglock. For the remainder of the opening round, Gastelum was on the defensive, as Souza worked his top game and then went for an armbar.

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In round two, however, Gastelum dropped Souza not long in, and the latter appeared to be in all sorts of trouble. But, after Gastelum let Souza up, “Jacare” continued to fire off punches.

As the second frame ended, Souza looked exhausted, but in round three he seemed to get a second wind. Souza pressed forward and managed to take Gastelum down a couple of times in the last round. But, he wasn’t able to keep the fight there and Gastelum also planted punches of his own.

After the tight fight, Gastelum was awarded the split decision win.

UFC 224

Kelvin Gastelum def. Ronaldo Souza via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Mackenzie Dern def. Amanda Cooper via submission (rear-naked-choke) R1, 2:27
John Lineker def. Brian Kelleher via KO (punch) R3, 3:43
Lyoto Machida def. Vitor Belfort via KO (kick) R2, 1:00
Cezar Ferreira def. Karl Roberson via technical submission (arm-triangle-choke) R1, 4:45
Aleksei Oleinik def. Junior Albini via submission (ezekiel choke) R1, 1:45
Davi Ramos def. Nick Hein via submission (rear-naked-choke) R1, 4:15
Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Sean Strickland via KO (wheel kick and punches) R1, 3:12
Warlley Alves def. Sultan Aliev via TKO (corner stoppage) R2, 5:00
Jack Hermansson def. Thales Leites via TKO (punches) R3, 2:10
Ramazan Emeev def. Alberto Mina via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Markus Perez def. James Bochnovic via submission (rear-naked-choke) R1, 4:28