Fresh off a first-round drubbing of former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, Derek Brunson says his next fight has already been signed.
Speaking to ESPN, Brunson revealed that he’s inked a contract for a bout with former Strikeforce middleweight champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, and he believes Souza has signed a bout agreement too. The fight is expected to go down on January 27, in the main event of a UFC on Fox card in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I signed my contract and I’m pretty sure Jacare signed his contract,” Brunson told ESPN. “I was aiming for somebody who would get me a title shot. But after thinking about it, a first-round finish over Jacare, who’s been considered as one of the best fighters on the planet, I think that gets me a shot.”
This fight has been in discussion for some time. Unfortunately, Brunson and Jacare both wanted the fight to occur in their home countries, which resulted in some tricky negotiations.
“I think Jacare was playing games trying to get it to Brazil,” Brunson said. “It’s funny, because he wasn’t really on my radar. I was aiming for somebody who would get me a title shot. But after thinking about it, a first-round finish over Jacare, who’s been considered as one of the best fighters on the planet, I think that gets me a shot.”
This fight, as any long-time, hardcore fan will remember, will be a rematch of a 2012 bout in the Strikeforce cage, which Jacare won by first-round KO. Brunson, then, will be chasing vengeance in Charlotte.
“I went out super aggressive and he caught me,” he said of his first fight with Jacare. “The punch he threw, he ducked his head and closed his eyes. I came running in and he caught me on the chin.”
“I had to deal with that for years. I was pissed off about it for a long time.”
Who do you think wins this Derek Brunson vs. Jacare rematch?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 29/11/2017.