This weekend, on the main card of UFC 208, middleweight star Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will take on the ever-dangerous Tim Boetsch. Given that Jacare is one of the top contenders in the middleweight division, and Boetsch is on the very fringes of the divisional top-15, the announcement of this matchup was initially a bit of a head-scratcher.
According to Jacare, however, it was simply the best option available to him after Luke Rockhold, who he was supposed to fight in November, was sidelined with an injury.
In a recent interview with FOX Sports, Jacare weighed in on Rockhold’s injury, explaining that he doesn’t really believe the former champ is actually hurt.
“I was looking to fight Luke Rockhold but it seems like he got hurt and now I keep seeing him on social media training and doing things so now I think he’s running” he said. “So I’m happy that Tim Boetsch accepted the fight and it’s going to keep me ready and active and fighting, so I’m pretty stoked that he took the fight. I’m good to go.”
“At first, I felt kind of sad for [Rockhold] because he got hurt and couldn’t make the fight,” Jacare continued. “I put myself in his shoes and I felt bad about it. But then after a while, watching him training and then especially when I saw he challenged Jon Jones for a grappling match, which we all know if you’re hurt you can’t do grappling, and he wants to fight him, it kind of changed my mind and what I think about him.”
“Everything crossed my mind now that he’s running away from me and he’s afraid to fight me.”
The Brazilian contender also had some choice words for middleweight champ Michael Bisping, who has recently been criticized for his desire for lucrative fights, rather than fights with top contenders
“Bisping’s a disaster,” Jacare said. “He doesn’t want to fight contenders. He doesn’t want to fight.”
“He wants to fight for money,” he continued. “He doesn’t respect the fans. He doesn’t respect the fighters. He only wants to fight for money. So for me, he’s a disaster for this division.”
If Jacare defeats Tim Boetsch, do you think he deserves a middleweight title shot? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/7/2017.