Number three-ranked middleweight Ronaldo Souza is one of the 185-pound contenders whom many believe should be getting a shot at the title. Along with Yoel Romero, “Jacare” has been forced to wait in line as Michael Bisping defends the belt against the returning Georges St-Pierre, next.
The multi-time Jiu-Jitsu Mundials gold medalist is currently coming off two stoppage victories against Vitor Belfort and Tim Boetsch, respectively. On April 15th, he will be taking on Robert Whittaker at UFC on FOX 24, the company’s debut event in Kansas City.
There is no guarantee if Jacare would be finally getting his chance at the belt, should he add another win in his record after April 15th. But if he doesn’t, the 37-year-old veteran fighter is also looking at the other possibilities outside of MMA.
"I’m happy to be fighting. But I have no problem stopping fighting,” Jacare said during a media scrum in Rio de Janeiro (via MMA Fighting). “I stopped competing in Jiu-Jitsu in 2005 when I was at the top of my career, and if I think it’s too much for me, that I’m full of it, I can stop fighting. That’s it. I can open my own gym, make as much money as I make fighting, and be happy. I have this dream of having my own gym, so I have no problem stopping fighting.”
"No, it doesn’t go through my mind to stop fighting, but if I get full of it, I can stop fighting,” he continued. "I can teach. I have this leverage. And I’m sure, I’ll have a lot of students. Do the math, 400 students training with me."
The recurring argument about talented top-ranked fighters not being granted title shots is marketability. Many put into question their abilities to sell fights. Jacare also had a response to such claims.
"Lyoto defeated Mousasi and fought for the belt. I not only defeat Mousasi, but I did it convincingly, submitted him, and didn't fight for the belt. Those are things that happen to me, and I think it’s weird. I don’t sell (pay-per-views)? Cut the bullsh-t. You don’t know what you’re talking about."