Rising UFC middleweight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza got what may have been his biggest ever win when he submitted Gegard Mousasi in the main event of UFC Fight Night 50 last Friday night (September 5, 2014), a victory that shot him up to No. 2 in the crowded 185-pound ranks.
It was Souza’s fourth straight UFC win and seventh overall, inching him dangerously close to a coveted title shot. However, UFC President Dana White said that “Jacare” would most likely have to fight again before any title shot.
Just whom he would have to beat in order to prove himself worthy for a championship opportunity was up in the air, but Ariel Helwani shed some light on that issue on tonight’s UFC Tonight. Apparently Souza wants to get back into fighting shape as soon as possible in case either Weidman or Belfort get forced out:
“I asked his manager, ‘what’s next for ‘Jacare?’ He told me, this is their plan: their plan is to be the UFC’s ‘Plan B.’ Now what he means by this is, simply that they are going to prepare to fight on December 6. He told me ‘Jacare’ is going to take the next couple of weeks off or so, and then he’s going to go into a two-month training camp.
He’s going to prepare to fight on December 6 because of course, that’s when Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort are fighting for the middleweight strap. He said, ‘Look, if someone falls out on one day’s notice, one week’s notice, one month’s notice, he wants to be ready for that fight because he believes he’s the No. 1 contender and he should be fighting for the title next.”
An interesting course of action for ‘Jacare’ and his team, but with title fights falling apart on a regular basis; Souza’s unconventional plan may not be such a bad one. Show co-hosts Daniel Cormier and Brendan “Big Brown” Schaub were quick to disparage the idea and label it as unrealistic, but third host Kenny Florian was in support of the idea.
And with Belfort set to undergo additional testing for his UFC 181 main event against Weidman, you never know what could happen in the almost three months between now and then.
That’s a lifetime in today’s ever-evolving MMA landscape, and there just aren’t too many middleweights that make sense as opponents for the dominant Brazilian jiu-jitsu wizard. Is Souza smart to stay in top shape just in case a golden opportunity should arise?