Middleweight Ronaldo "Jacaré" Souza submitted Tim Boetsch in the first...

Middleweight Ronaldo "Jacaré" Souza submitted Tim Boetsch in the first round during UFC 208 at Barclays Center on Feb. 11, 2017. Credit: Newsday / Jeffrey Basinger

After seven straight decisions to open UFC 208, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza gave the fans what they came for.

In his first fight since last May, Souza earned the first finish of the night with a submission victory over Tim Boetsch at 3:41 of the first round on Saturday at Barclays Center.

“My plan was to come out strong and finish him early," Souza said. "I am the best in the world and I wanted to make a statement."

After trading strikes early, Souza tried to initiate the ground game, but Boetsch kept the action on the feet.

The pair continued to exchange strikes with Boetsch landing a right hand that stung, but Souza tried for a takedown again and succeeded.

Souza had little problem slicing through Boetsch guard once the fight got to the ground. He mounted Boetsch with 1:42 left and landed a few strikes before going for the kimura. Souza put Boetsch’s arm behind his back, nearly breaking it and forcing the tap with 1:19 left on the clock.

With the victory, Souza is eyeing a shot at the UFC middleweight title, a fight that has long eluded him.

"Of course, I am the most deserving of the title shot in my opinion but I will wait now," Souza said. "I have nothing left to say about [Yoel] Romero or [Michael] Bisping other than I will be waiting for the winner and I will be champion."

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