Although top-ranked middleweight contenders Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza (yes, that’s right Reebok) and Yoel Romero already saw two previously scheduled fights against one another fall apart, it’s looking like there’s not much else to do other than book the bout for a third time after recent finish wins from both fighters.
Romero’s win, were ‘The Solider of God’ blasted former champion Lyoto Machida with a series of vicious elbows at last weekend’s UFC Fight Night 70 from Hollywood, Florida, is viewed as considerably more impressive than Jacare’s first round submission of late replacement Chris Camozzi at UFC on FOX 15, an opponent that Souza had already beat.
But that booking only came about when Romero pulled out of their second match with a knee injury. Romero has now won all six of his UFC bouts, finishing five of them, while Souza has an impressive eight-fight win streak intact. It’s looking more and more like Luke Rockhold will get the next shot at divisional ruler Chris Weidman regardless of what the jovial champion says in the media.
So that leaves Jacare and Romero out to battle to battle for the next shot after that, and Jacare’s manager Gilberto Faria believes that fight should be next. Of course they would take a fight with Weidman or Rockhold, but those tow supposedly on a collision course for later this fall, Romero is the only logical step. Faria told MMA Fighting that Jacare would most certainly become the next middleweight champion:
“As far as next opponent, it can be Weidman, Rockhold or Romero. All I can say Jacare will be the next UFC middleweight champion.”
Unfortunately for Jacare and his team, however, whether or not he does become the next middleweight champion may be out of his control, as Rockhold could technically become the next champ before him if he can defeat Weidman. But all technicalities aside, Jacare is still recovering from a minor knee procedure he had done after his second win over Camozzi. That shouldn’t hinder his return to the Octagon sometime early this fall, as Faria reassured his fans that Jacare is already back to training:
“He is back on training,” Faria said, “and he will be ready to go by September.”
Following such a dominant stretch, the UFC will most likely have no other choice but to give Jacare his long-awaited title shot if he can handle Romero his first UFC loss. It’s a fight that has been a long time coming, and it’s one that should decide the next UFC middleweight title contender.
Who would be your pick?
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