Last Saturday night, in the co-main event of UFC 230, former Strikeforce middleweight champ and long-time UFC middleweight contender Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza authored an epic knockout victory in a thrilling, short-notice fight with former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman.
With this win, Jacare rebounded from a razor-close split decision loss to Kelvin Gastelum, who is set to battle reigning UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker for gold at UFC 234 in the New Year. Having done so, Jacare now feels that he’s probably the next man in line for the Whittaker vs. Gastelum winner. In fact, the 38-year-old now plans to wait for a fight with the winner.
“I’m going to wait for my turn now,” the Brazilian said in an interview published to the UFC’s Youtube channel (transcript via BloodyElbow). “I’m going to sit out and wait for the champion. Be it Robert Whittaker or Kelvin Gastelum.”
In this interview, Jacare also scolded referee Dan Miragliotta for his undeniably questionable stoppage of the fight. The Brazilian contender feels that the referee should have halted the action much earlier — when Weidman initially hit the deck — rather than forcing him to land several hard followup shots on a visibly dazed and vulnerable opponent.
“I was pretty upset,” he said. “The truth is that I’m a big fan of Weidman’s, I follow him on social media. I admire his work and the father that he is. So I was pretty angry when because the referee didn’t stop it any sooner.”
As Jacare says above, he’s a bit of a Chris Weidman fan. He even tipped his hat to his vanquished foe in a post-fight social media post.
“I hope you well champion I am your big fan and thank you for giving me the opportunity to fight you,” he said.
Do you think Jacare deserves a middleweight title shot after his huge win at UFC 230?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/6/2018.