Although fans who’ve never watched a fight unless it was in the Octagon might have no idea who “Jacare” Souza is, Costa Philippou is quite aware of the challenge he’ll face at UFC on FX 8 on May 18th.
Not only is Souza a former middleweight champ with Strikeforce, whose vets have been doing just fine thus far in the UFC, but he’s one of the most decorated jiu-jitsu competitors on the planet. The only man who has defeated the 33 year-old fighter since his 2008 is Luke Rockhold, who is another top ten ranked middleweight.
While Philippou has been steadily working his way up the middleweight ranks, the New York fighter knows Souza will likely be his toughest test yet.
“He’s a well-rounded fighter, and he’s improved a lot,” Philippou said while appearing on MMA Junkie.com Radio recently. “I’d say he’s the most complete fighter I’ve had to face so far. His striking skills are great. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he’s a boxer. His takedowns are not as great as a wrestler. But he has the jiu-jitsu, so he doesn’t care. Even if he has to pull you on top of him, he’ll take you down. He doesn’t mind being on his back.”
Philippou reportedly went on to say that he’s not “worried” about Jacare’s ground game, since he trains with plenty of BJJ black belts like Mr. Matt Serra, and that it’s a MMA bout. He may have a point, but you have to wonder if guys like Ed Herman felt the same way?
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Article by Kelsey Mowatt