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The Brazilian was the biggest favorite on the card heading into the Octagon on Saturday evening, and he made the oddsmakers look wise as he demolished his adversary Tim Boetsch inside one round.
Souza got the victory when he pushed Boetsch up against the cage and took him down to the mat from where he locked in a deep kimura arm lock. With Boetsch left no alternative, he tapped out after three minutes and 41 seconds giving Souza both the win and a welcome $50,000 "Performance of the Night" bonus check.
Speaking backstage with UFC.com after the fight, Souza said he knew had advantages heading into the Octagon and that the key to the fight was always going to be about capitalizing on them.
"I knew that I was faster than him," Souza said via a translator. "I knew that with time I'd be able to take him down to the ground and that's exactly what happened."
After getting his 10th win in 11 fights, Souza is arguably closer to a title shot than he's ever been. After speaking out before the fight about his desire to get his shot at UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, Souza reiterated his feelings on Saturday and his words for the UFC matchmakers were concise.
"You'd think the UFC will give me a real fight [now] and that Michael Bisping will stop running from me," Souza said. "That's what it will take for me to get a title shot and the opportunity to be the champion."
With Bisping expected to fight Yoel Romero next, Romero was asked whether he'd consider taking another fight in the meantime against an opponent like Luke Rockhold or Chris Weidman. Souza didn't respond with total conviction but suggested he was done with waiting around for his shot at the title.
"The only thing crossing my mind right now is to have a break with my wife and have a little vacation," Souza said. "But, I was not born into this thing waiting. I was born into this thing to get things done and to be a champion. So let's see what happens."