Former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza returned to action this past weekend (May 12, 2018) in his native Brazil, taking on Kelvin Gastelum in the co-main event of UFC 224, which took place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
The fight, which held major implications in the 185-pound division, was a back-and-forth one, but Souza came up short, dropping a split-decision loss to Gastelum. And although the contest was close, “Jacare” blamed the performance solely on himself:
“Nobody likes to lose,” Souza told MMAFighting through a translator. “I’m at home, I’m here in Brazil. The whole crowd was behind me. I’m very, very sad to lose. It’s disappointing to me to lose here at home in the way that I lost. I should’ve done better. I should’ve cut weight better. I felt my legs and that made it very complicated.
“It was my fault I lost, it happens. Kelvin had a good game plan, he was doing well in the fight, we had a great fight, but I lost. And I want everyone to know that I did everything I could to win. I really wanted to win this fight.”
As far as the weight cut goes, Souza said that he typically cuts weight well, but also that various circumstances led to a bit of an unusual method of cutting for him:
“I’m very healthy. I always cut weight pretty well, but this time I jumped rope a bit too much because there was no sauna in the hotel,” Souza said. “So I jumped too much rope and that’s why I think I felt my legs because of that, but that was it. There are things that happen. We had a great fight and that’s what matters.”
At 38 years old, Souza’s best days could potentially be behind him, but he confirmed that he will continue to compete in the middleweight division:
“About my future, I’m in the middleweight division, I’m gonna wait for the next fight, and I’m gonna do everything I can to win,” Souza said. “I’m going to see with my trainers what happened, what happened wrong, because I felt my legs a lot and I think that’s what complicated the fight.”
Who would you like to see the Brazilian fight next?