Although the UFC roster is replete with talented Brazilian fighters, Anderson Silva believes only “Jacare” Souza and Jose Aldo could bring belts to that nation in the short term future.
As most old school fans know, Brazil has long been a super power in MMA, and the country’s trophy case is full with many UFC titles. After all, Brazil is home to former champs like “Shogun” Rua, Junior dos Santos, Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, Renan Barao, Aldo, and yes, Silva.
Today, however, the only Brazilians who hold UFC titles currently are heavyweight champ Fabricio Werdum, and lightweight champ, Rafael dos Anjos. While discussing the nation’s championship prospects recently with Combate, Silva stated (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“I’m the only veteran here. I believe we have lost that drive and willpower to go in there and better ourselves. I had the opportunity to fight in a time when this sport had great names, and I used them as role models to get where I am today. It’s not because Jacare is here that I say I bet all my chips on him. Besides him and Jose Aldo, I don’t see anyone who can become a champion in the near future. There was a time we had almost all UFC belts. Now we only have two.”
There you have it. Now, there’s no doubt that both Souza and Aldo could hold belts fairly soon. Souza is booked to fight Belfort on May 14th, and if he wins, he’ll almost certainly get tapped for a shot at the 185 title. Aldo, meanwhile, will face Frankie Edgar for the interim featherweight belt on July 9th.
But who else is in reach of a title? As far as the short term? Well, Claudi Gadelha is fighting strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk on July 8th. So, obviously she could bring a belt back to Brazil. Belfort fans will likely argue that he’s a possibility, as he could get booked for a title shot if he beats Souza.
Other than that? Amanda Nunes? Demian Maia or Raphael Assuncao? Possibly? Or no?