Following UFC on FOX 15 the consensus seems to be that Luke Rockhold, and not “Jacare” Souza, will be tapped for a title shot next. Yes, both men scored finishes at the April 18th card, but Rockhold did so over fellow contender Lyoto Machida, while Souza defeated late replacement Chris Camozzi. If you missed it, Rockhold has catapulted above Souza in the middleweight rankings as a result, and is now sitting at #1.
But despite all this, Souza remains hopeful that he could end up facing the winner of the upcoming scrap between champion Chris Weidman, and Vitor Belfort. Recently the jiu-jitus god spoke to MMA Fighting.com about his title shot prospects, and here is some of what he had to say:
“Anything can happen in this division, but I believe the UFC won’t decide that before the Belfort and Weidman fight,” Souza said. “The fact that Rockhold is ahead of me in the rankings doesn’t change anything. Anything can happen.”
This is true. Rockhold could incur an injury, for example, and the UFC would obviously go with “Jacare” in that case. Souza has also been on a tear and has yet to lose in the UFC, amd Rockhold was stopped by Belfort five fights ago, but it seems like there’s more buzz tied to the latter (in North America any ways). Weidman-Rockhold would move a lot of tickets, as would Belfort-Rockhold II.
Souza was also asked whether he’d be interested in fighting Rockhold again, if say the winner of the May 23rd title fight is sidelined, and “Jacare” stated:
“That can happen, yes,” Souza said. “I’m ready to fight anyone.”
No surprises there. Souza and Rockhold fought back in 2011 and the latter won the bout, and the Strikeforce title, by unanimous decision.
UFC 187 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.