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‘Jacare’ Souza admits he almost pulled out of fight with arm injury

JARAGUA DO SUL, Brazil -- Ronaldo Souza didn’t finish a fight for the first time in the Octagon on Saturday night, but the grappling wizard continues to climb the UFC middleweight rankings.

"Jacare" dominated Francis Carmont for two rounds at UFC Fight Night 36 in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, to take the decision win on Saturday night. Carmont, who suffered his first loss in seven fights under the UFC banner, impressed the Brazilian.

"I was already expecting a really tough fight," Souza said in the post-fight press conference. "He instigated me a little, but I was ready to fight him standing as well. He felt my hand in the first round.

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"He defended the neck pretty well. I thought I had (the choke), but he’s a tough fighter. I learned a lot in this fight."

Right after the fight, "Jacare" revealed he injured his arm during his camp, and doesn’t expect to return to the gym soon.

"I didn’t have trouble (in the fight) because of the injury," he said. "I have bone fragments in my left arm and I almost pulled out of the fight, but I asked the UFC to continue. I asked my doctors if I could fight and they said there was a high possibility that I could fight.

"My coach Josuel Distak did a great job in training, I only trained my legs for six weeks to get here at 100 percent. I won’t be able to train for around six weeks. I’ll have to do an arthroscopic surgery to clean my left arm."

When he comes back to the cage, "Jacare" wants a top challenge. And what if the UFC decides to match him against fellow Brazilian Lyoto Machida?

"We can fight, yes," Souza said. "I wouldn’t want to, but I’d accept this fight if that’s what the UFC wants. Lyoto is super professional and I’m sure he would also take it."

Luke Rockhold, the last man to defeat "Jacare" in MMA, was also suggested as a possible opponent, but the Brazilian didn’t sound interested.

"I want to fight someone who’s coming off a win," Souza said, ignoring the fact that Rockhold is coming off a first-round knockout win over Costa Philippou.

"Oh… That kick he took from Vitor (Belfort) can’t get out of my head," the Brazilian said with a laugh. "He’s not well ranked, but if that’s what the UFC wants I would accept to prove I’m better than him."

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