Ronaldo Souza sounds off on the reason that he sees his upcoming fight against Chris Weidman in a middleweight bout as a rematch. This will serve as the co-headliner of the UFC 230 pay-per-view event.
Souza went on record in a recent interview by saying that Weidman has beaten several Brazilians over the past seven years. This adds a personal factor come fight night.
Weidman topped the likes of Anderson Silva (twice), Vitor Belfort, Lyoto Machida, and Demian Maia. As a result, he thinks a win here gets some revenge on Weidman:
“I have huge respect for Chris Weidman. I like him as a person and as an athlete, but I see it as a rematch. I feel like he had already defeated me before,” Souza told MMA Fighting. “He has defeated many (Brazilians). I’m going there like if he had defeated me as well. I never lose twice to the same person, so I’m very confident.”
Souza believes that once he beats Weidman, he’ll be in the enviable position of fighting only for the title:
“It’s something natural for me,” Souza said. “Whoever wins will be up there. That’s a fact and I don’t even need to talk too much about it. I want to go up (in the ranking). I want to get in there, win — and win convincingly. Then say ‘brother, I’ll sit down and only call me if you’re going to talk about the belt.’
Souza is coming off a split decision loss to Kelvin Gastelum in May. He is looking to get back to his winning ways after going 2-2 in his last four fights. He believes the current state of the UFC middleweight fray will help him get back to the top:
“Everyone else is injured, there’s no one else to fight. My focus is on this fight (with Weidman), of course, but everybody knows that this fight will take me up there.”
Souza had been on the cusp of a UFC title shot before but suffered a TKO loss to current middleweight champion Robert Whittaker last April. The loss caused the rollercoaster ride that he’s been on since.
“My fight with Kelvin Gastelum was close, I could have gotten the win,” Souza said. “My body language was weird in the third round and could have mattered for the judges. I understand that, but I landed more strikes. I beat (Yoel) Romero. Every time my fight is close, I lose. I have to go there and win, and win for real. I can’t just kind of win.”
The UFC 230 pay-per-view event is set to take place on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, New York City with the main card airing on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET. If you enjoyed this story, please share it on social media!