‘Jacare’ Continues Climb, Denies UFC Signing

Oct 2, 2007
MANAUS, Brazil, Sept. 29 -- As the featured attraction for the first Amazon Challenge, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza proved that the local fight scene in Brazil can no longer contain him.

Looking for his sixth win in seven fights, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu sensation took on the experienced Jose Ribamar. Ribamar knew that a victory over a famous fighter like Souza would propel him into the spotlight, but his decision to clinch with the world-class grappler was not a good one.

Souza took Ribamar down and leveled him with vicious strikes. With the intensity of an alligator chomping down on its prey, Souza punched violently until he passed Ribamar's guard and armbarred him to end the fight 3:28 into the first round.

Although he appears ready to compete abroad, Souza denied reports that he had signed with the UFC.

"I have not signed with Zuffa, unlike what people have said on the Internet," Souza said after his fight. "I was close to signing and fighting in WEC, but nothing is settled right now."

Even with 24 fights under his belt, Daniel Trindade of Associacao Trindade is not a well-known name. However, the Roraima cop, who was favored to win the Amazon Challenge 176-pound tournament, lived up to expectations.

He made quick work of Rosenberg in the first round, stopping him with strikes at 1:43. In the finals he faced Yuri Fraga, who had choked Claudio Supa with a guillotine 1:11 into round one.

Fraga seemed to have the tools to beat Trindade. Yet Trindade had other ideas and used his heavy hands to drop Fraga to the mat for a knockout 58 seconds into the third round. As he celebrated with a belt around his waist, Trindade said he was prepared to defend his title at the second Amazon Challenge event.

Diego Ceara, a former luta livre competitor and a current Souza teammate, dictated the pace against Juarez before knocking him out at 1:27 of the first round. In the semifinals, Ceara collided with Trindade's protégé, Fabiano Jacarezinho, who showed heart in pushing the fight the distance. The judges awarded the decision to Ceara, who will battle Jorge Clay in October for the 155-pound belt.

Nova Uniao's Jorge Clay finished Albert Frederico with a choke from the mount in the quarterfinals. In his second fight, Clay won a decision win over Fabio Saci, who had beaten Dan Harrison with a spectacular flying knee at 1:39 of the first.

The second Amazon Challenge, scheduled for Oct. 27, will feature the finals of the 155-pound tournament and 176-pound champion Daniel Trindade defending his belt possibly against Jungle FC veteran Adriano Martins.
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