Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza won a three round decision over Tristar trained Francis Carmont at last night’s UFC 36 co-main event. The Brazilian grappling ace extended his win streak to six with the victory, and is knocking on the door at the top end of the division.
During the post fight presser, ‘Jacare’ revealed that he suffered an elbow injury in training for Carmont, and that it will need surgery before his next training camp:
“I’m going to have to clean my arm out of these [bone] fragments, “I had no difficulty because of the injury,” Souza said. “I mentioned that I had a lot of [bone] fragments in my left arm, and some people said that I shouldn’t fight. I asked the UFC to trust me; I asked my physicians if I could fight, and they told me that I had a good chance of fighting, so that’s what I believed in.”
The question of Souza’s next opponent is an interesting one, and UFC President Dana White did not confirm the title shot was going Lyoto Machida’s way. ‘The Dragon’ won a close, technical decision over Gegard Mousasi in the main of UFN 36 and is well and truly in the title mix.
Souza’s win solidifies his number three spot in the middleweight rankings, but he would still be happy to take a fight with his old foe Luke Rockhold:
“Yeah, it’s OK,” Souza said. “If the UFC thinks that’s what’s good, that’s it. When I think about Belfort hitting him, that’s what happens. If you come to Brazil, we will hit you. I think he’s way below in the rankings, but if the UFC thinks that has to be done, I’ll do it. I’ll prove I’m better than he is.”
Its refreshing to see Souza with a ‘take on anyone’ approach, especially given the sensitive nature of UFC title shots now days. Another loss to Rockhold would do no good for Souza’s title hopes, although I would be interested to see who has improved more since their first fight.
Rockhold pinched the Strikeforce middleweight title from ‘Jacare’ back in 2011; besting the Brazilian over five rounds in Cincinnati, Ohio. A win over Rockhold could help solidify his status, but the division seems tied up for the mean time, at least until after UFC 173.