‘Jacare’ Believes Win Over Mousasi Worth No. 1 Contender Spot, UFC Boss Noncommittal

By Tristen Critchfield Sep 5, 2014
Ronaldo Souza is focused on the middleweight title. | Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com

Ronaldo Souza and Dana White seem to have different views on what “Jacare’s” win over Gegard Mousasi at Friday’s UFC Fight Night event in Mashantucket, Conn., means to the middleweight title picture.

Souza dominated his rematch with the former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion from start to finish before submitting Mousasi with a guillotine choke 4:30 into round three of the evening’s main event. The win avenged a previous loss to “The Dreamcatcher,” who knocked the Brazilian out with an upkick under the Dream banner in 2008.

“I don’t even really remember that defeat. It was something that happened, and this is a totally different fight,” Souza said during an interview on Fox Sports 1. “I’m a different fighter, and I came in and submitted him.”

The new-and-improved Souza has a very clear idea of what his future in the Octagon should look like.

“Definitely, I’m the No. 1 contender for the middleweight title. I deserve the chance for the title, and I want the chance for the title,” he said.

Currently in the midst of a seven-fight winning streak that includes lopsided triumphs over Chris Camozzi, Yushin Okami, Francis Carmont and Mousasi in the Octagon, the 34-year-old X-Gym representative would seem to have a decent case for a shot at 185-pound gold. However, White has other ideas.

With Chris Weidman scheduled to defend the middleweight title against Vitor Belfort at UFC 181 on Dec. 6, the UFC boss isn’t interested in committing to a No. 1 contender in-waiting.

“Talking about title shots, there’s a title fight that’s going to happen first. It depends on when this thing happens, what goes down, what happens with Chris Weidman. It’s tough to say, ‘Yeah he’s getting a title shot,’ when there’s already a title shot in line,” White said on Fox Sports 1.

“Obviously ‘Jacare’ looked incredible tonight; he put on a great performance. I’m sure he’ll fight again before we talk about title shots. “

While he doesn’t have a preference between Weidman or Belfort, Souza clearly has a case of tunnel vision, and his line of sight doesn’t include another fight in the interim.

“Right now I’m only focused on the title. I need to go home and relax with my kids, take some vacation time with my wife and I’ll think about that later,” he said.


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