Next weekend, in the main event of UFC 221 in Perth, Australia, former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champ Luke Rockhold will battle Yoel Romero for the UFC interim middleweight title. Originally, Rockhold was expected to battle undisputed champion Robert Whittaker on the card, but he still stands to win UFC gold all the same. Long-time middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza doesn’t feel this is right.
”They are always complicating things for me,” Souza told MMAFighting of the title situation at middleweight. “[Luke] Rockhold just beat David Branch, who came from another promotion, and is fighting for the belt. The criteria is different with me, I always have to fight one more time. I honestly think that I have to fight one more, but why only me? Rockhold just beat Branch, man, and is fighting for an interim belt? Do you get what I’m saying?”
Given that the winner of Rockhold and Romero’s interim title fight is likely to fight Whittaker next, Jacare understands he might have to wait before he’s given a shot at gold. In that event, he’s prepared to fight former champion Chris Weidman in the meantime.
”It’s a fight that makes sense,” Souza explained. “I never turned down a fight, especially a good fight like this. It would be a huge pleasure to fight him. This is the fight that makes sense now. I don’t know if he’s healthy because he just has hand surgery. What I know is that I’m super healthy. I’ll give my body a few days to rest, celebrate my anniversary a lot more, and then I’ll be back to training.”
Weidman, of course, seems to be open to this idea:
“I can see myself potentially jumping in there for a title shot against maybe the winner of the fight coming up, depending on Whittaker’s health,” Weidman recently told MMAFighting. “I’d get a rematch with Rockhold which has been a long time coming. We were supposed to have that rematch right away and my surgery held that up. Or Yoel Romero. Both those fights would be great. If not that, you got ‘Jacare’ who just came off a great win. I don’t mind that fight, either.”
Who do you think wins a fight between Jacare and Chris Weidman?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/31/2018.