This year has been a breakout one for Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. It will also see him undergo two elbow surgeries in the span of seven months.
According to Souza's manager, Gilberto Faria, Souza was diagnosed with ulnar neuropathy, a numbness in his right elbow caused by the entrapment of the ulnar nerve, resulting in numbness and tingling into the fourth and fifth fingers.
"He will need surgery to release the pressure on his ulnar nerve," Faria said. "We will schedule surgery for next week. We expect Jacare to be ready to fight again in January/February."
In March, Souza (21-3, 1 NC) underwent a five-hour surgery on his left elbow to remove bone fragments. Since then, he defeated Gegard Mousasi via third-round submission last month to secure his spot as one of the top contenders at 185 pounds. The win extended his current streak to seven fights in a row.
"His fingers were tingling from time-to-time since training camp for Mousasi," Faria said, "and right after the fight it got severe and went from tingling to numbness and some level of pain."
Faria recently said that their plan was to be ready in time for the next middleweight title fight between champion Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort, which is now slated for February after Weidman discovered a hairline fracture in his hand. However, Souza has since modified his upcoming plans.
"[He is] also open to a new opponent, as long we get priority as a replacement fighter in case Belfort can not fight," Faria said.