Not long ago, top middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza was expected to take on Luke Rockhold in the main event of the UFC’s November 26 return to Melbourne, Australia. When Rockhold was forced out of the bout with an injury, however, Jacare was left without a dance partner.
Though this injury was certainly an unfortunate twist, it also left Jacare in the perfect position to call out UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping. Unfortunately for the Brazilian contender, however, Bisping shut down these callouts, explaining that he was still recovering from injuries sustained in his razor close October title defense against Dan Henderson.
Evidently aware of the need to explain his conflicting willingness to fight fight GSP or Diaz and reluctance to fight Jacare, Bisping attempted to clear the air on a recent episode of UFC Tonight.
“As you all know, I fought Dan Henderson very recently,” the champ explained on the show. “I’ve got a busted orbital, I’m getting injections in my knee. Now I know what everyone at home is going to say: ‘Didn’t you call out GSP a couple weeks ago?’ Yes, I did, but really, think about this, that was a massive payday, roughly $3-4 million I would have earned from that fight. Against Jacare, I’m going to get around about a quarter. I’m assuming they’re saying that I’m ducking Jacare. I’ve never ducked anybody in my life. Next week, Yoel (Romero) and (Chris) Weidman are fighting. Whoever wins, either that guy, or Jacare, will be my next fight, make no mistake. But I’m not doing it in a few weeks.”
Apparently, however, this explanation didn’t cut it for Jacare. In a recent post to his official Instagram account, the Brazilian contender challenged Bisping to “stop running,” and accept him as the next middleweight title challenger.
Pare de correr de mim @mikebisping , essa é a hora de você lutar com o verdadeiro desafiante porque o campeão de verdade luta com o desafiante de verdade . Eu sou o próximo e você vai ter que lutar comigo . @ufc @danawhite @canalcombate @ufcbrasil @reebokbrasil @reebok @graciemag_br @graciemagazine @lucianoandrade_123 @sportv
“Stop running from me, Bisping,” Jacare said in his post. “It’s time to face a real contender. Real champion fight a real contender. You need to show to the world that you can be a real champion. I’m next. You wanna fight me.”
Do you think Jacare deserves the next crack at Bisping’s middleweight title? Sound off, PENN Nation!