Ronaldo Souza feels ready to begin a new chapter of his career in a heavier weight class. After 16 years and 34 fights at middleweight, with the exception of a 194-pound catchweight fight in 2013, ‘Jacare’ will for the first time move up to the light heavyweight division at UFC Sao Paulo.
Jacare is paired up against contender Jan Blachowicz in the show’s headliner, who in his last outing welcomed Luke Rockhold into the division with a highlight reel knockout win. Ronaldo acknowledges his opponent’s superior power, but believes his speed and grappling advantages could earn him the win on Saturday night.
“It’s obvious that he has more knockout power than me, and I respect that.” Souza told Ag Fight. “I’m not underestimating that at all, but I have my weapons, too. If I’m able to use them, then he will have a bad time. Jiu-jitsu surely is one of the weapons I’ll try to use the most. He’s a really tough guy, Rockhold talked too much before their fight and you saw what happened. I’m approaching this quietly and I’ll come out victorious. We’ll use our best weapons; one of them is speed, I think it’ll make a big difference in this fight.”
Although he has never missed weight in his career, the 39-year-old reveals he was always on the heavier side of middleweight and won’t miss going through the struggle of a weight cut. In Ronaldo’s opinion, the change will improve not only his physical health, but his mental health as well.
“I had a good camp, I’m super relaxed, at ease. I’m not struggling to make weight and that gives me confidence. Your mood improves, for sure. When you’re losing weight, naturally you get moody. When I’m cutting weight, I get insufferable - I would catch myself screaming in my room, not knowing why I’m so angry. Now I’m cool, relaxed, I just ate, so I’m not suffering.”
“I’m a pretty big guy for middleweight, everyone can see that.” Jacare continued. “I never hit 220, but I would walk around at 213 at my heaviest. That’s my natural weight now, 213, 216, it’s not much. I’m already cutting it because I don’t need to suffer, so I’m already eating less and I’m lighter than that.”
In his last outing, Ronaldo Souza (26-7-1 NC) dropped a unanimous decision to Jack Hermansson back in April. The loss came after a knockout win over former middleweight champion Chris Weidman in November 2018. Now, Jacare is expected to take on Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night 164’s main event, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on November 16.