‘Jacare’ Souza Confident He’ll Be UFC Middleweight Champion Within Two Fights

By Nathan Zur Apr 24, 2018
Former Dream and Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is confident that 2018 will be a good year for him inside the Octagon.

The Brazilian is scheduled to face Kelvin Gastelum in the co-main event of UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro on May 12. The 38-year-old has come close in the past in earning a shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight belt and is confident that a win against Gasteulm will put him in pole position to face the winner of Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero, who will fight for the title at UFC 225 in June.

“If you analyze it, there’s no better option,” Souza told MMA Fighting. “Chris Weidman can’t fight now, he’s hurt. Kelvin Gastelum is here to fight, I’m here to fight, you know? Here’s what’s going to happen: in two fights I’ll become the UFC middleweight champion.

“No disrespect, it’s just me being confident. In two fights, I’ll become the UFC middleweight champion. I’m working for that, and I believe in it, and it will happen. Kelvin is a tough fight, difficult, complicated, but I’m here to defeat anyone and I will win two fights to become UFC champion.”

Whittaker and Romero are the only two men to defeat Souza under the UFC banner and the Brazilian is not fazed by who he would prefer to fight.

“I just hope it’s a good fight and the better man wins,” Souza said. “I want to be there, front row, watching who will win. I will fight the winner of this fight. I’m not rooting for any of them. Whoever has a better gameplan will win that night.”

Souza had avoided talking about title shots after his loss to Whittaker as “that wasn’t the moment to talk because I was coming back.”

Although after he destroyed Derek Brunson in January, his confidence level has risen again and he’s ready to make another run at the title.

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