Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza is set to make his return to the Octagon in a few weeks time, following a seven-month lay off with an elbow injury, when he meets Gegard Mousasi in the main event of UFC Fight Night 50. Speaking to Bloody Elbow recently, ‘Jacare’ said he has his eyes set on the middleweight title but right now his focus is aimed on Mousasi:
“I’m sincerely not thinking about secondary things. I need to beat Mousasi, that is my main goal right now. I’m not thinking about a next opponent. Of course, my final goal is winning the belt. But, firstly, I have to win this bout.”
The two middleweight’s have a history of course, they previously fought back in 2008 where “The Dreamcatcher” handed the Brazilian the second loss of his professional career in the finale of Dream’s Middleweight Grandprix. With the win, Mousasi earned the promotion’s vacant 185 pound title.
Heading into their rematch, Souza says he doesn’t “count” their first fight as it was such a long time ago. However, he does still expect the bout to be a tough fight for him and thinks it could be one of the best of 2014.
“I expect a tough fight. I’m preparing for that, rounds, although my objective is to finish it before. I think that will be a great show, maybe the “Fight of the Night” and one of the best of the year. He’s a hard opponent, he has a solid game on the ground and on his feet, but I’m ready for the challenge. I don’t count our first fight because it was so many years ago, it was just another in my career. This one will be hard and will drive me to a title shot.”
With his current six-fight winning streak, which includes three wins inside the Octagon, Souza has a good chance of getting the next shot at the UFC middleweight title if he pulls off a win over Mousasi; something he feels he should have been awarded already.
“Based on the divisional ranking, I believe that I should already have fought for the title. I think that I’m close to my goal, which is fighting for the belt, but I don’t think much about it, I have to beat Mousasi first.”
What do you guys think? Will a win over Mousasi be enough to give ‘Jacare’ the next crack at the middleweight title?