Earlier this year, in the main event of UFC 199, Michael Bisping shocked the world by knocking out Luke Rockhold to win the UFC middleweight title. Tomorrow night, in the main event of UFC 204, Bisping will attempt to defend his new title against a former foil in Dan Henderson.
While this fight’s built-in revenge narrative has generated quite a bit of interest among fans, it is not a popular one among the game’s top middleweights. Given that Henderson currently holds the number-15 spot in the middleweight division’s rankings, its easy to understand why his jumping the line has rattled some cages.
Perhaps no fighter has been more vocal in their distaste for UFC 204’s main event than streaking Brazilian contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, who probably would have gotten the first crack at Bisping in a realm where rankings ruled.
In a recent interview with MMAFighting.com (which can be seen above), “Jacare” offered up his thoughts on this looming middleweight title fight.
“[Luke Rockhold] fucked up the entire division by losing to Bisping,” he said.
The dynamic Brazilian expressed his disillusionment with the UFC’s current matchmaking strategy, which seems to favor the most lucrative fights over fights based on rankings and win-streaks.”
“When I’m champion, this joke will end,” he said. “There’s no fame in there, it’s a fight. That’s where great champions and future pay-per-view sellers are built. They are not giving people the chance to do that. They are looking at who’s already big names and focusing on them. They are not focused on creating new, great champions, new pay-per-view sellers. Anderson Silva didn’t sell pay-per-views one day, and now he sells because they gave him the chance to fight.”
“They have to give the chance to those who deserve it.”
Of course, Jacare doesn’t believe the UFC deserves all the blame for the fruition of Bisping and Henderson’s strange middleweight title fight. He also blames the champ for chasing money and vengeance, rather than accepting a fight with a top-ranked contender.
“Fighters are turning into mercenaries more than fighters. [Bisping] disrespected an entire division, disrespected the 14 fighters who were [ranked] in front of Dan Henderson. He had no honor. He’s a liar because he said he respected me, and called me a great class opponent, and in the end he didn’t do what he said he would and he chose to fight Dan Henderson.”
Needless to say, Jacare is not a fan of UFC 204’s main event. Luckily, a win in his scheduled November bout with Rockhold could well line him up for the title shot he’s been chasing.
Do you understand Jacare’s frustration? Sound off, PENN nation!