Those who still question UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu credentials might want to consult Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
In advance of his showdown with Matt Lindland at Strikeforce “Evolution” on Dec. 19 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., Souza spent time alongside the man many consider the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Silva’s detractors have long pointed to his ground game as a potential weakness, despite submission victories against Travis Lutter and two-time Olympian Dan Henderson.
“I can attest that he is truly a black belt,” Souza said. “He’s an excellent athlete with technique to match that athleticism. He’s familiar with all the basic jiu-jitsu techniques, which is of utmost importance for an MMA fighter, and he also uses some mind-boggling positions that no one else can pull off. I’d say Anderson is a versatile black belt who’s also very good defensively.”
Arguably the most feared striker in mixed martial arts, Silva showed Souza a few tricks of the trade during the time they have spent together in the gym.
“As for his stand-up, what else is there to say?” Souza asked. “I’ve learned more than I’ve taught here, and I’m very happy to be a part of this team.”