Ronaldo Souza won’t be reuniting with old boss Scott Coker in Bellator MMA anytime soon.
The UFC middleweight contender signed a new eight-fight contract with the Las Vegas-based promotion on Thursday, according to MMAFighting.com. “Jacare” later confirmed the deal via Twitter.
Souza was on the final bout of his previous contract heading into his UFC on Fox 24 showdown with Robert Whittaker, prompting speculation that the 37-year-old Brazilian could be Bellator bound after Saturday night. Souza previously worked with Coker, the current Bellator boss, during an eight-fight stint with Strikeforce from 2009 to 2013.
“I’m very happy,” Souza wrote. “New contract signed with the UFC. Let’s go for some more battles.”
The ex-Strikeforce champion has been victorious in seven of his eight Octagon appearances thus far. Souza’s only defeat during that time came in a contentious split decision loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 194. Since then, “Jacare” has scored back-to-back first-round finishes of Vitor Belfort and Tim Boetsch.
Souza’s UFC on Fox 24 matchup with Whittaker is scheduled to be the second bout on the evening’s Fox-televised main card, which begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. UFC on Fox 24 takes place at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., and is headlined by a flyweight title bout between Demetrious Johnson and Wilson Reis.