UFC Sao Paulo results: Jan Blachowicz edges Ronaldo Souza by split decision, calls out Jon Jones

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Ronaldo Souza rushed in for a takedown attempt and Jan Blachowicz made him pay with an uppercut followed by a flurry of punches that made the Brazilian taste the canvas in the fifth and final round of their bout Saturday night.

The late offense, the most significant shots of the bout, paved the way for Blachowicz to eke out an ultra-close split-decision victory in the low-action main event of UFC Sao Paulo at the Ginasio do Ibirapuera. Two judges scored it 48-47 in favor of the Polish fighter and the other judge had it 48-47 for Souza.

Blachowicz called out UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones following the victory.

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"Jon, let's do this," Blachowicz said. "Give me the title shot because I don’t have time. Maybe three more years and I go to retire. So, now or never."

Jones is down on the entire light heavyweight division and Blachowicz didn't do anything to excite him Saturday night, but one can't blame Blachowicz for taking his shot.

Souza negated Blachowicz’s six-inch reach advantage by getting inside and grappling his opponent up against the Octagon over many sequences, drawing boos from the Brazil crowd at times.

"Jacare" also put Blachowicz on notice about his power in the second round when he drove him back with a stiff right hand. During the waning seconds of the third, Souza landed a hard right across Blachowicz’s chin, but Blachowicz returned fire with a short combination.

Blachowicz was laboring on swollen feet and looked destined to be edged on the scorecards before connecting on that uppercut and dropping Souza in Round 5.

Mauricio Rua, Paul Craig fight to split draw; light heavyweights

Craig greeted Rua with a spinning wheel kick and then caught the Brazilian lacking moments later as he pummeled him against the Octagon with hard lefts and rights. That prompted the referee to take a closer look, but the MMA legend held his guard up high, absorbed the punishment and survived the opening-round scare.

The rocky start sparked Rua, who turned the tide in the second and third rounds. He spent much of those frames in top control and using a dominant ground-and-pound. Although it felt as though Rua did enough to squeak past Craig, judges saw it even, scoring it 29-28 for Rua, 29-28 for Craig and 28-28.

For what it’s worth, Rua’s face looked battered. The result marked the first career draw for both fighters.

Charles Oliveira blasts Jared Gordon in first-round KO (punches); lightweights

Oliveira dropped Gordon with a picture-perfect right hook, spun him around and finished him with a right uppercut.

Just like that, the UFC’s all-time leader in submission victories proved he can also finish things on his feet.

The Sao Paulo native then called out Conor McGregor.

Other results from UFC Sao Paulo main card

  • Andre Muniz def. Antonio Arroyo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27); middleweights.

  • Wellington Turman def. Markus Perez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Preliminary results

  • James Krause def. Sergio Moraes via third-round TKO (punches); welterweights.

  • Ricardo Ramos def. Luiz Eduardo Garagorri by first-round submission (rear-naked choke); featherweights.

  • Francisco Trinaldo def. Bobby Green via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28); lightweights.

  • Randy Brown def. Warlley Alves by second-round submission (triangle choke); welterweights.

  • Douglas Silva de Andrade def. Renan Barao by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26); featherweights.

  • Ariane Lipski def. Isabelade Padua via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27); flyweights.

  • Tracy Cortez def. Vanessa Melo by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28); bantamweights.

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