On May 12, on the main card of UFC 224, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will return to the cage for a clash with fellow middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum. If Jacare is able to win this fight, he’ll establish himself as one of the top contenders in the crowded UFC middleweight division, and perhaps even earn himself a title shot. At least, that’s what he’s hoping.
Speaking to MMA Fighting, Jacare explained why he accepted a fight with Gastelum, and stated that he believes he’ll be the middleweight champion within two fights.
“If you analyze it, there’s no better option [right now],” Souza said. “Chris Weidman can’t fight now, he’s hurt. Kelvin Gastelum is here to fight, I’m here to fight, you know? Here’s what’s going to happen: in two fights I’ll become the UFC middleweight champion.”
“No disrespect, it’s just me being confident,” he added. “In two fights, I’ll become the UFC middleweight champion. I’m working for that, and I believe in it, and it will happen. Kelvin is a tough fight, difficult, complicated, but I’m here to defeat anyone and I will win two fights to become UFC champion.”
The UFC middleweight belt is currently owned by Australia’s Robert Whittaker. Whittaker will make his first defense of the title opposite a former opponent in Yoel Romero at UFC 225 this June 9. Jacare, who has lost to both men previously, hopes to watch this fight from cage side, but has no preference as far as the winner goes.
“I just hope it’s a good fight and the better man wins,” Souza told MMA Fighting. “I want to be there, front row, watching who will win. I will fight the winner of this fight. I’m not rooting for any of them. Whoever has a better game plan will win that night.”
Do you want to see the winner of Jacare and Gastelum’s UFC 224 scrap battle the winner of Whittaker and Romero’s UFC 225 title fight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/23/2018.