clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

‘Jacare’ Souza feels he deserves title shot after 'spectacular' effort against Vitor Belfort

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

CURITIBA, Brazil -- Ronaldo Souza became the first man to beat Vitor Belfort in a non-title UFC fight since 2005, and he thinks he has earned a shot at the middleweight championship with it.

"Jacare" completely dominated "The Phenom" in the co-main event of UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil, getting the TKO finish after landing hard punches from the mount in front of 45,207 fans at the Arena da Baixada stadium.

"I came here to fight a really tough opponent in Belfort, he wrote his name in the history of the sport," Souza said at the UFC 198 post-fight press conference. "I was happy to be fighting him and I was confident in the victory, and I saw that the crowd was on my side. I didn’t want to let the fans down.

"Before the fight, I said that I came here to win and I would win in the name of Jesus, and that’s what happened. It was special for me. I came here to win and impose my game, hit good punches, and to me it was spectacular. It was historical for me."

The UFC middleweight will be on the line at UFC 199, when Luke Rockhold gives Chris Weidman a chance to regain his UFC belt. "Jacare", who lost his Strikeforce middleweight championship to Rockhold via decision in the past, won’t root for anyone at UFC 199, but would have an extra motivation if he gets a rematch with the man who dethroned him.

"My focus is not on a specific athlete, my focus is on the belt," Souza said. "I want the champion of this fight. I deserve it. And if it’s Rockhold, my goal is to train as much as I can, do the best I can, and go there and destroy my opponent."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting