'Jacare' Souza vs. Kelvin Gastelum booked for UFC 224 in Rio

A middleweight matchup between Kelvin Gastelum and Ronaldo Souza is confirmed for UFC 224.

The UFC’s official Brazilian Twitter account today announced the high-profile fight for the early summer card, which takes place May 12 at¬†Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The event’s main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Via Twitter:

Gastelum (14-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) vowed never to return to Brazil after a first-round TKO over ex-champ Vitor Belfort was overturned in the wake of a positive drug test. For an opportunity against “Jacare” Souza (25-5 MMA, 8-2 UFC), though, he’s apparently willing to make an exception.

A win over Souza would undoubtedly give Gastelum a stronger case for a title shot, which greatly improved after his first-round knockout of ex-champ Michael Bisping in his previous octagon performance this past November.

Originally slated to face ex-champ Anderson Silva, Gastelum took on Bisping after Silva failed an out-of-competition drug test, his second potential anti-doping violation. The win over Bisping put Gastelum back on the right foot after a submission setback against Chris Weidman last July.

Souza got back to the win column last month when he halted the streaking Derek Brunson, ending the fight with a first-round head kick. A prior loss to current champ Robert Whittaker put him on the road to redemption.

The current lineup for UFC 224 includes:

  • Ronaldo Souza vs. Kelvin Gastelum
  • Vitor Belfort vs. Lyoto Machida
  • Nick Hein vs. Davi Ramos
  • Ramazan Emeev vs. Alberto Mino
  • Junior Albini vs. Aleksei Oliynyk
  • Cezar Ferreira vs. Karl Roberson

For more on UFC 224, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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