"After this fight, there's no other option," Souza told MMAFighting.com. "Vitor (Belfort) is the next in line, no doubt about it, but he has issues with the commission and I honestly can't understand what's going on. He has yet to get a license to fight in Nevada, but I'm here. "My focus is on Mousasi now, and then I'll think about what's next."
‘Jacare,' who is 3-0 since joining the UFC's middleweight ranks, is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Francis Carmont and immediately began campaigning for a big-name opponent. The UFC brass answered his demand and offered him the rematch against the man who defeated him via head-kick KO in DREAM, Gegard Mousasi.
"He caught me because he was better. He found an opening and connected the kick. He was better that night and that's why he defeated me."
While the first fight ended in exceptionally convincing fashion, Souza believes there are variety of changes, including his added experience, increased weight and improved cardio that give him the upper hand this time around.
"I'm more experienced and heavier now, and I also have a better cardio. I added more weapons to my game," Souza continued. "My striking is better, and I adapt my jiu-jitsu to MMA better now. It's going to be a different fight this time. You'll all see my strategy on fight night. It's a surprise."
UFC 176 takes place August 2 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.