When former UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman was forced to withdraw from his scheduled title rematch with Luke Rockhold at June 4’s UFC 199, top contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was the UFC’s first choice to fill in.
“Jacare” was dealing with a knee injury, however, and the promotion called on long-time divisional mainstay Michael Bisping to step up and face off with Rockhold.
Bisping would end up shocking the world and knocking Rockhold out cold in the very first round to become the new undisputed 185-pound champion.
Recently speaking with MMAFighting.com, Souza said that he’ll be ready to return by November, and that he feels deserving of the next title shot, although he may ‘spank’ someone else before the shot at gold presents itself:
“I’m not afraid at all, I think I deserve the title shot,” said Souza in response to the idea that he’d be passed over after declining to fill in for any injured Weidman at UFC 199. “Even if they give me somebody else to fight before the title shot, I might take it and spank someone. But I know I have the right to be the next one.”
Despite holding a very impressive 6-1 Octagon record, Souza may very well be passed over, as the title shot could be awarded to Weidman. The ex-champion recently called out Bisping for a fight in his home of New York on November 12, 2016 at UFC 205 which may be too lucrative of an opportunity for the UFC to pass up.
Yoel Romero is another top contender in the title discussion, and he actually owns a win over “Jacare” last December, albeit a controversial victory at best.
While admitting that he should’ve prepared better for that bout, Souza also claimed that “The Soldier of God” fought dirty:
“I probably should have been better prepared for that fight, but I believe I did a good job,” added Souza regarding his defeat to Romero. “I came back, I showed heart. And he was not loyal. He kind of fought dirty, held the cage twice. It is what it is.”
Who should receive the next shot at gold in the stacked 185-pound division?