The middleweight division has become as perplexing as it is stacked. Now with former UFC welterweight king Georges St-Pierre at the helm, and an interim champ working his way back to the cage, the rest of the division continues to sort it self out.
Already illustrating this sentiment is champ Michael Bisping, who is making an immediate turnaround to take on #9 Kelvin Gastelum this Saturday night.
Further turning the wheels of the division is a middleweight bout between Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza and Derek Brunson. The fight has been offered, and agreed to, by Souza who posted to his Twitter on Monday:
“UFC offered me Derek Brunson to fight on February 3rd at UFC FN 125, Belem do Para, Brazil. I already agreed to fight on Belem do Para, Brazil, now is up to Derek Brunson, I hope he doesn’t come up with escuses about the location and date of event. @ufc“
Brunson was sure to respond to secure his spot opposite the former Strikeforce middleweight champion, calling Souza out and agreeing to the top-contender matchup:
“That’s weird . I accepted for Jan 27 in Charlotte, NC. I’ll be in touch after this weekend’s fight! See you in NC.”
Souza and Brunson are currently ranked #5 and #7, respectively and, no matter what you think of the UFC’s official ranking system, those numbers can be used as promotional tools when attached to a fighter’s name on an FS1 broadcast.
The two don’t seem to agree on the date, however, as Brunson alleges that the fight was originally planned for the January 27th show being held at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Souza counters with a chance of home field advantage at the Arena Guilherme Paraense in Belem, Brazil on February 3rd.
Souza would be returning from a Tax Day loss to now-interim champion, Robert Whittaker in Spring of 2017. Souza was finished for the first time in almost nine years after being rocked and dropped by a Whittaker head kick.
Brunson has erased two straight losses to Whittaker and Anderson Silva from the memories of most fans after consecutive knockouts over Dan Kelly and former champion, Lyoto Machida have reminded the division that with 18 wins and 10 knockouts, Brunson still has a lot to offer.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/20/2017.