Weekend Warrior: UFC Fight Night 150 Gets ‘Jacare’ vs. ‘The Joker’

Photo: Jared C. Tilton /Zuffa LLC / Contributor and Hector Vivas / Stringer (Getty Images)

Jack Hermansson wanted a crack at the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight elite, and he gets his wish under less-than-ideal circumstances.

A short-notice substitution for 2000 Olympic silver medalist Yoel Romero, “The Joker” will confront Ronaldo Souza without the benefit of a full training camp in the UFC Fight Night 150 headliner on Saturday at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Meanwhile, former NFL All-Pro Greg Hardy meets Dmitry Smoliakov in the three-round heavyweight co-main event.

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Ronaldo Souza

Ronaldo Souza punches Tim Boetsch. Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

Souza shows no signs of slowing down at age 39. The two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships and eight-time Mundials gold medalist has rattled off nine wins in 12 appearances since joining the UFC roster a little less than six years ago. “Jacare” last competed at UFC 230, where he cut down former middleweight champion Chris Weidman with third-round punches on Nov. 3. Souza, who holds the rank of black belt in judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, has delivered 14 of his 26 professional victories by submission.

Hermansson finds himself on a three-fight winning streak ahead of the most significant opportunity of his career. The onetime Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder announced his arrival as a dark horse contender at 185 pounds in March, when he submitted former two-division World Series of Fighting champion David Branch with a guillotine choke just 49 seconds into their encounter at UFC on ESPN 2. Hermansson, 30, operates out of the Frontline Academy in Norway.

Jack Hermansson

Jack Hermansson reacts after submitting David Branch. Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

UFC Fight Night “Jacare vs. Hermansson’—which streams live to ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT—will also feature a welterweight affair pairing Mike Perry with Alex Oliveira, a light heavyweight tilt pitting Glover Teixeira against Ion Cutelaba, a bantamweight battle matching John Lineker with Cory Sandhagen and a lightweight clash slotting Roosevelt Roberts opposite Thomas Gifford. ESPN (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) and ESPN2 (5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT) are scheduled to share coverage of the seven-fight undercard.

The UFC does not have the mixed martial arts stage all to itself. Bellator MMA returns with Bellator 220 on Saturday at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, where Rory MacDonald will defend his 170-pound championship against Jon Fitch in the quarterfinals of the organization’s welterweight grand prix. Beyond the MacDonald-Fitch headliner, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane puts her perfect 9-0 record and women’s strawweight title on the line against Veta Arteaga in the co-main event.

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Rory Macdonald

Rory MacDonald punches Stephen Thompson. Photo: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC (Getty Images)

Bellator 220 “MacDonald vs. Fitch” streams live to DAZN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Bellator.com will stream a portion of the undercard at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

A bustling regional scene will see the undefeated Jason Soares risk his Titan Fighting Championship featherweight title against Anderson Hutchison in the Titan 54 marquee attraction on Friday at Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Soares has won all 12 of his pro bouts, 10 of them finishes. The event streams live to UFC Fight Pass at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

Finally, the fate of the vacant Legacy Fighting Alliance lightweight crown will hang in the balance when Harvey Park locks horns with Demarques Jackson in the LFA 64 headliner on Friday at the Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. AXS-TV carries the event at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

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