Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is a patient man, but he’s only willing to wait for so long before the former Strikeforce middleweight champ and a UFC contender gets his title shot.
The Brazilian submission specialist did not mince words when asked about his long road to a UFC title fight. “Jacare” carries an impressive 7-1 record in the UFC, with his lone loss coming by way of close decision to fellow middleweight contender Yoel Romero.
“Oh, man, I’m motivated in fighting,” Souza said during a press event in Rio de Janeiro. “That doesn’t demotivate me at all. I’m motivated by the challenge that my opponent brings. The belt is the consequence. I’m a believer in God, everybody knows that,” he continued. “When I’m choosing my fight, I put a knee on the ground and ask for God to choose a fight for me, and it’s happening.”
“I’m happy to be fighting,” he continued. “But I have no problem stopping fighting. I stopped competing in jiu-jitsu in 2005 when I was at the top of my career, and if I think it’s too much for me, that I’m full of it, I can stop fighting. That’s it. I can open my own gym, make as much money as I make fighting, and be happy. I have this dream of having my own gym, so I have no problem stopping fighting.”
“Jacare” may only be on a modest two fight win streak, but has finished both those opponents in the first round, TKOing Vitor Belfort at UFC 198 and Tim Boesch at UFC 208.
The Jiu-Jitsu ace was the 185 pound champ back in Strikeforce and has been a contender in the UFC ever since he was signed back in 2013.
With current middleweight champion Michael Bisping making his second title defense against former welterweight kingpin Georges Saint Pierre sometime this summer, the rest of the weight class is left in flux. Both “Jacare” and Romero have already done enough to earn their title shots, but this superfight between Bisping and GSP means neither contender will have the chance to dethrone the champ until late 2017, all things considered.
“Jacare” will take on Robert Whittaker at UFC on FOX 24 on April 15, which could bolster his win streak to three in a row and an overall 8-1 UFC record with a victory. But at 37-years-old, time is of the essence for Souza, and he seems to know it.
Will we see “Jacare” get his title shot before he loses his patience and retires like he did from competitive BJJ back in 2005? Or will Romero