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‘Jacare’ Souza still hopeful for next UFC title shot

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Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Some may argue that Luke Rockhold has the best case for a shot at the winner of Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort for the UFC middleweight championship, but Ronaldo Souza is still hopeful that he’s next in line.

Undefeated in the UFC with four stoppages in five fights, "Jacare" again made quick work of Chris Camozzi in the Octagon, tapping him in less than three minutes in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 15.

"I was ready to fight that day," Souza told MMAFighting.com. "(Yoel Romero) unfortunately got hurt and Camozzi gave me the opportunity to not throw my training camp away. I really thank him for stepping up on short notice.

"Everything I trained to do I was able to do in the fight, so I’m happy. I honestly thought it could be a tough fight. I was ready to win fast, but I knew he was motivated."

Minutes after stopping Camozzi, "Jacare" watched Rockhold dominate and finish Lyoto Machida in the main event and call for a shot at the winner of Weidman vs. Belfort.

Souza believes that a win over Romero, his original opponent, would "absolutely" be better for his case, but doesn’t stop him from arguing that he could be the next in line.

"Anything can happen in this division, but I believe the UFC won’t decide that before the Belfort and Weidman fight," he said. "The fact that Rockhold is ahead of me in the rankings doesn’t change anything. Anything can happen."

Weidman only fought once in 2014 and hasn’t stepped inside the Octagon in 2015, while Belfort has yet to compete since 2013. With the possibility of the winner of this fight being sidelined for months, "Jacare" would be open to fighting Rockhold.

"That can happen, yes," Souza said. "I’m ready to fight anyone."

And what if the UFC makes Rockhold the next in line for the gold?

"I would stay active," "Jacare" said. "I know the title shot will eventually come, but I’m in the UFC to fight. Every ranked fighter is interesting. I’m in the UFC to fight, not to pick opponents."