Ronaldo Souza does not want to negotiate any longer.
Originally scheduled to take on Yoel Romero at UFC Fort Lauderdale, on April 27, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt ended up paired up with up-and-comer Jack Hermansson after ‘Soldier of God’ was forced out of the rematch due to a case of pneumonia.
Shortly after Romero’s withdrawal, ‘Jacare’ was also briefly paired up against rising middleweight Paulo Costa, but that bout also ended up falling through, which led to Hermansson taking the fight on a three-week notice, in a negotiation period that Souza defined to Combate as “stressful.”
“These negotiations were very stressful to me,” Souza said. “At first, I was supposed to fight Romero, I was really excited, I like rematches, he’s a tough guy, number one in the rankings. When I heard he was down with pneumonia, it was complicated. A while after, they offered me [Paulo Costa], they told me he had accepted the fight. I wasn’t really to into that fight, but I talked to my manager and he told me was a young guy who had some good wins, so I accepted it. A while later, he changed his mind. He had four full weeks to train, a young man like himself should have had no trouble making weight, but he was smart. It’s not a good idea to fight me with just four weeks to train. The only one who is stupid and crazy enough to do stupid things like that is me.”
Now only days away from his main event bout against Jack Hermansson, Jacare decided to put his foot down and not accept any other fights unless they have a title on the line. In fact, the 39-year-old even claims that UFC president Dana White promised him a crack at the belt after UFC Fort Lauderdale.
“I was not going to take (the Hermansson fight) at all,” he said. “There were 10 days of negotiations, everybody was putting a lot of pressure on me, until Dana White, Mick Maynard and the UFC promised that if I won the fight, I would fight for the belt. We have this deal and I hope they deliver. I’m doing my part, I’m ready to fight, make weight and put on a good performance.”
In his last outing, Ronaldo Souza (26-6-1 NC) knocked former champion Chris Weidman in third round, in November 2018. Before that, Jacare suffered a split decision loss to Kelvin Gastelum in May of the same year.