Since Luke Rockhold has cruised through the last four middleweights he’s fought, including Lyoto Machida, a lot of folks don’t have an issue with the fact he’s fighting for the title next. Well, not surprisingly, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza isn’t one of them.
As you likely know, following Rockhold’s win over Machida, Souza continued to campaign hard for a title shot, until more recently it was revealed it wasn’t going to happen. “Jacare” had been considered the front runner until UFC on FOX 15, when he ended up facing Chris Camozzi instead of Yoel Romero, and Rockhold took on Machida. The latter is a top ranked contender while Camozzi is not (Souza submitted Camozzi in the opening round).
Well, recently Souza spoke with the media while attending a pre-UFC 190 event, and the Brazilian star outlined why he doesn’t believe Rockhold should fight Chris Weidman next (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“I don’t think it’s fair,” Souza said. “I thought that Rockhold should get past by me to fight for the title, or wait before I get my shot at the title…”
“I don’t think (Rockhold) fought tougher fighters, I don’t know why people say that,” he added. “He fought Tim Boetsch, who has more holes in his game than a Swiss cheese. He fought Costa Phillipou, who can’t stop a takedown – but his merits for beating him standing. I fought Okami, who is tougher than them. I fought Mousasi, who is as tough as Lyoto – and he did a great job. And he fought Belfort, and I don’t even need to comment on that.”
While some people might agree with Souza on this, at the end of the day, MMA is very often about your last fight. Rockhold stormed through the man who gave Weidman a stiff test last summer. A fighter who is also one of the biggest names in the UFC. That’s what most people remember, and that’s why Weidman-Rockhold is in the works.
Now it will be interesting to see who the UFC books to face Souza, and whether he can secure another win, and remain poised for a title shot.