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‘It’s really over’ - Former Strikeforce champion, ex-UFC contender ‘Jacare’ Souza retires from MMA

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Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Ronaldo Souza called oficially retires from MMA after 17 and half years in the sport.

Ronaldo Souza retired from MMA at 41.
Ronaldo Souza retired from MMA at 41.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Legendary Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Jacare has decided to call it a career at 41 years of age. Following some rough couple of years in the sport, during which he suffered four defeats in a row, ‘Jacare’ made the call to hang up the gloves for good.

However, finishing his MMA career does not mean this is the last of Jacare fans will ever see. In an interview on Combate’s podcast, Ronaldo revealed his wish to go back to his roots: professional Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Although he did not mention when he would be returning to the mats, Souza emphasized how he wishes to give BJJ another go before ending his career altogether.

“I’ve fought many times already,” Jacare said. “I retired from jiu-jitsu too soon. I think I’ve done too much MMA and I have no intention to come back. It’s really over. I’m retiring from MMA and I’m going back to the sport where I made history. The sport that I like so much.”

“I’m training again and, who knows, I might compete again,” Jacare continued. “I’m motivated by challenges and jiu-jitsu is turning into a challenge for me. It has evolved so much, there’s a lot of new stuff. It’s so nice to see.”

Souza won world titles in BJJ World Cup, the Brazilian Championship and the World ADCC jiu-jitsu competition.

In his mixed martial arts career, Souza (26-10-1 NC) became the Strikeforce middleweight champion when he defeated Tim Kennedy via unanimous decision, back in August 2010. Although he never fought for a UFC title, Jacare was a perennial contender in the promotion, with wins over some of the biggest names in the sport, such as Gegard Mousasi, Vitor Belfort and Chris Weidman.

Most recently, Ronaldo found himself on a four-fight losing skid, with defeats to Andre Muniz, Kevin Holland, Jan Blachowicz and Jack Hermansson. His UFC contract ended after the submission loss to Muniz, and it turns out that was his final MMA fight. The 41-year-old’s last win was a knockout victory over the aforementioned Weidman, back in November 2018.