'Jacare' Souza's return timetable set; wants Weidman-Machida winner or Belfort

Guilherme Cruz

Back in February, when Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza defeated Francis Carmont for his sixth straight victory and third in the UFC, the question on everyone's mind went something like this: Should Souza challenge for the UFC middleweight title next, or does he need to fight a No. 1 contender's match first?

Soon thereafter, though, the question was shelved, as Souza revealed he had suffered an elbow injury which would require surgery.

But as spring moves toward summer and the surgery in his rear-view mirror, Souza is starting to think about his return. And the former Strikeforce champion doesn't want to waste any time on fighters below him in the pecking order.

MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani reported on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight that "Jacare" will be ready to fight again by August, and he wants to fight one of the division's big names.

According Souza's manager, Gilberto Faria, the fighter would like to take on the winner of the UFC 175 title fight between champion Chris Weidman and former light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida. Barring that, Souza wants to tangle with his controversial fellow Brazilian, Vitor Belfort.

"We are done fighting guys behind us in the rankings," Faria said. "It's time to release the beast."

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