clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

‘Jacare’ Souza expects Yoel Romero next, but would face anyone at 185 or 205: ‘I’ll be the UFC champion’

New, comments
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Ronaldo Souza vs. Yoel Romero was booked for UFC 184 and UFC on FOX 15, but fell through both times due to multiple injuries. The promotion didn’t announce the next move for the pair of middleweights, and the Brazilian expects to finally meet the Cuban wrestler in his return to the Octagon.

"There’s no other opponent that makes sense except for Romero, so that’s a fight that might happen," Souza told the media during UFC 190 fight week in Brazil. "I’m just waiting for the UFC to announce it. People always ask me who’s going to be my next opponent, and I believe it’s Romero, but I’m waiting for the announcement."

Luke Rockhold, the last man to beat Souza in MMA, will get the next shot at middleweight champion Chris Weidman, and "Jacare" will be in shape to replace him if he gets injured.

"I will always be ready to become the champion," said the former Strikeforce 185-pound champion. "I work for the UFC, and some fighters like to do the matchmaker’s job. I’m a fighter. If the UFC sets a date with any opponent at 185 or 205 pounds, I will be ready to become the champion."

"I will be the next UFC champion, no doubt about it," he continued. "I’m training for this. I achieve every goal I had in my life, and it won’t be different with the UFC. Whoever steps in front of me will be taken down, and if I have to do one more fight before the belt I will fight, and I will win. I will get the submission or the knockout.

"Sooner or later I will be the title contender, no doubt. Things happen pretty fast in the UFC. I will only know if Rockhold will really fight Chris Weidman when he signs the contract or the UFC announces it, or I’m next."

Rockhold earned a shot at the title following a dominating win over former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Souza praises his former foe for his performance, but doesn’t believe that means he’s on another level.

"I think he got the No. 1 spot with the way he defeated Lyoto. He did a wonderful job against Lyoto, it was impressive, but Romero did the same thing because Lyoto is not in a good stage right now," he said. "Unfortunately, he’s not doing well recently, and that’s why Rockhold and Romero did what they did. And when I get Romero, I will prove that."