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‘Jacare’ Souza injured knee before UFC 198, promises to ‘destroy’ winner of Luke Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Ronaldo Souza was offered a shot at Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, but a knee injury prevented him from taking the fight.

"Jacare" released a statement explaining his injury, and asking for a shot at the winner of Rockhold vs. Michael Bisping. Souza's medical staff informed MMA Fighting that he will likely return to training in four weeks.

I got an offer from the UFC to replace injured Chris Weidman in a middleweight title fight at UFC 199, on June 4, against Luke Rockhold, the current champion. Everybody knows my desire to fight for the title and, if possible, in a rematch with Rockhold. However, I can’t let the emotion superimpose the reason.

One week before my fight with Vitor Belfort, I felt a pain in my right knee, but still went to battle. I fought well, but was limping as I left the Octagon. The next Monday, I was examined by doctor Alexandre Campello, who recommended a MRI to better analyze the situation. While I was waiting for the results, I heard about Weidman’s injury. I would only be able to answer the UFC’s offer when I knew what I had in my knee. On Wednesday afternoon, with the MRI results, it was decided that I would go through an arthroscopy on Thursday as part of the recovery process for a minor meniscus injury.

Thereby, I can’t be fit for such an important fight on June 4. Michael Bisping is the new challenger, and I wish him and Rockhold a great fight. I want to face the winner of this fight soon and, no matter who wins, I will be ready to destroy him and become the new middleweight champion.

I would also like to thank the love from my fans, in person or on social media. I got thousands of messages every day, always supporting me and congratulating me for my work. I’m happy to know that. I also thank the UFC for understanding, and also say thank you to every member of my team.

See you soon in the Octagon!