‘Jacare’ Souza wants test at 205: 'I've always had this idea'

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Weight difference is not a problem for Ronaldo Souza. The two-time black belt absolute world champion in jiu-jitsu has fought guys who weighed more than 30 pounds than him, and "Jacare" eyes more challenges in his MMA career.

The former Strikeforce middleweight champion mauled Yushin Okami last Wednesday at UFC Fight Night 28 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and told MMA Fighting he would move up to light heavyweight to test himself.

"That would give me more opportunities to work," Souza said. "I’m not a big guy for 205, but I’m really strong and would do great fights in this division as well. I've always had this idea, I just never had the opportunity to show how ready I was for this challenge.

"I’m an employee that loves to work. If they give me an opponent I won’t look to rankings, I will just fight. Of course, my managers and coaches have their opinions, but that’s the way I see."

Following two first-round finishes in the UFC, "Jacare" says he would accept to fight anyone inside the Octagon except Anderson Silva. His decision to fight at 205 pounds, however, is not related to the possibility of the "Spider" conquering back his middleweight title on Dec. 28 against Chris Weidman.

"There’s nothing to do with him," he said. "I live my life according to my career and family, God, not according to other person. Never."

Josuel Distak, Souza’s boxing coach, suggested Phil Davis as an opponent for a light heavyweight clash in an interview to Combate.

"My coaches know my potential and that’s why they say that, but I only said I want to fight at 205, I didn’t ask for anyone specifically," said Souza. "That’s not my style. I do my best, train hard and let my hands and feet do the talk, not my mouth. I like to shut up and do my job."

Souza finished his last five opponents, four of them in the first round, and we probably watched the best "Jacare" ever against Okami. However, Souza teases that his next fight will be even more impressive.

"I believe I can do even more because I’m very focused," he said. "I’m not bragging myself. I can’t stop thinking about my victory, but I’m already thinking about my next camp, and the coaches I have to hire to keep evolving. I’m mentally preparing my next camp to return better than I was in this fight.

"It may look that I was underestimating Okami, but that was not the case. I was well trained. I knew he was a tough opponent, ranked No. 3 in the world, and that he has stopped a lot of guys, but I didn’t care about it. I was happy with the opportunity to fight Okami and ready for the biggest challenge of my career. It was a huge step for me."

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