While Chris Weidman is expected to defend the UFC middleweight title versus Vitor Belort next February, due the champ’s withdrawal from UFC 181, it remains to be seen who will challenge for the belt after that.
Of course, many folks believe it will be “Jacare” Souza, who has pretty much rolled through the competition since he arrived in the UFC last year. Thanks to a seven fight win streak, which includes four victories with the UFC, Souza is holding down the #2 ranking at 185.
Although Souza has made a compelling case for a title shot, the UFC will likely come calling for him to fight once more in the interim. By the time Weidman or Belfort are ready to defend the title, following their scrap next year, it could be summer of 2015.
Well, one of Souza’s coaches, Josuel Distak, recently spoke with Sherdog.com about “Jacare’s” short term future. Distak revealed that Souza is set to undergo a medical procedure on his left elbow soon, he also had it done on his right elbow, the fighter will be ready to fight in January. But who should he fight?
Distak proposed that Souza fight at light-heavyweight in his next bout, since, according to the coach, the fighter’s “proved” he deserves a title shot at middleweight. Distak argued that it’s not “fair” for “Jacare” to cut down to 185 for his next bout, if it’s not for the title. Then Distak made this interesting statement:
“Jacare already fought in open-weight matches during his jiu-jitsu career. I would love to see him facing Henderson in February, on the same card that Belfort will face Weidman. Henderson is a legend, and the fans would love to see that matchup. But Ronaldo could face anyone in that division except Rogerio and Feijao. I don’t see any problem with making that test. The world needs to know the potential of Ronaldo Jacare.”
Souza-Henderson huh? It’s certainly a fight a lot of people would like to see, but would the UFC be interested? Probably.
Henderson recently revealed that he’s been talking to the UFC about fighting January 3rd, but the legendary fighter may be willing to push that date by a couple of weeks. Souza is certainly the level of fighter “Hendo” is used to competing against, and it would be a big opportunity for the 44 year-old.
Now if Souza were to lose to Henderson, chances are his title shot would evaporate, even if the defeat came at 205. When Vitor Belort was campaigning for a bout at light-heavyweight, as a means to preserve his own title run at middleweight, UFC Dana White confirmed that a loss would spoil all that. Belfort, however, went on to KO Henderson in the first round.