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UFC 208’s ‘Jacare’ Souza: Anderson Silva is my friend, but I deserve next title shot

Souza is friends with Silva but says he would be upset if ‘The Spider’ cut the line for a middleweight title shot.

MMA: UFC 194-Aldo vs McGregor-Weigh Ins Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ronaldo Souza and Anderson Silva are training together ahead of their scheduled bouts at UFC 208 on Feb. 11.

Souza, a former Strikeforce middleweight champion, will take on MMA veteran Tim Boetsch and is hoping a win will cement his spot as the next No. 1 contender. His teammate Silva, who reigned as the UFC 185 lbs champ for seven years, will collide with the No. 8 ranked Derek Brunson in the co-main event.

Jacare and Silva have been friends for years, but Souza says it would be unfair if his teammate was granted the next title shot based on his legacy in the sport.

"Friendship continues. (But) I’d definitely be upset because I’m the next in line,” Souza said during a media scrum in Brazil, per MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz. "I’m not a hypocrite and say ‘Oh, cool.’ No, it’s not cool at all. I’d be super upset, but God blessed him.”

Michael Bisping is the current champ but is expected to be out until May due to injury.

Souza, who has beat the likes of Vitor Belfort, Gegard Mousasi and Robbie Lawler, says that lower-ranked contenders using their star power as leverage for a title shot is a problem in the sport.

"Man, this thing about cutting the line is happening so much with me that I’m used to it already,” Souza said. "Go on in front of me, my lawyer is God. I’m cool. I have my house, my family is healthy, I’m fine with my wife."

"Want to cut the line, do it, just don’t turn your ass to me because I’m a man and that doesn’t work,” he added. "But if you want to cut the line, go for it."

Silva, who is one of the biggest stars in MMA, is on a four-fight losing streak. The Brazilian lost in back-to-back fights against Chris Weidman and dropped decisions to Michael Bisping and Daniel Cormier. His lone win against Nick Diaz was overturned to a No Contest after it was revealed that he tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs post-UFC 183.

UFC 208, which features Souza vs. Boetsch and Silva vs. Brunson on the main card, takes place on February 11 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

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