RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Ronaldo Souza is not happy he didn’t get any of the fights he was hoping for.
The fighter known as “Jacare" called for rematches with Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero after making quick work of Tim Boetsch earlier this year, but the UFC instead matched him up with rising middleweight Robert Whittaker at UFC on FOX 24 in Kansas City.
Souza guarantees he’s motivated to compete on April 15, but doesn’t rule out ending his career if he gets tired of waiting for a shot at the middleweight belt.
"Oh, man, I’m motivated in fighting,” Souza said during a recent media scrum in Rio de Janeiro. "That doesn’t demotivate me at all. I’m motivated by the challenge that my opponent brings. The belt is the consequence. I’m a believer in God, everybody knows that,” he continued. "When I’m choosing my fight, I put a knee on the ground and ask for God to choose a fight for me, and it’s happening."
"I’m happy to be fighting,” he continued. "But I have no problem stopping fighting. I stopped competing in jiu-jitsu in 2005 when I was at the top of my career, and if I think it’s too much for me, that I’m full of it, I can stop fighting. That’s it. I can open my own gym, make as much money as I make fighting, and be happy. I have this dream of having my own gym, so I have no problem stopping fighting.”
According to the multiple-time BJJ world champion and ADCC gold medalist, teaching jiu-jitsu would be as profitable as fighting in the UFC.
"No, it doesn’t go through my mind to stop fighting, but if I get full of it, I can stop fighting,” “Jacare" said. "I can teach. I have this leverage. And I’m sure, I’ll have a lot of students. Do the math, 400 students training with me."
Souza is a former Strikeforce middleweight champion with a 7-1 record inside the Octagon, with his only loss being a controversial decision against Romero, and questions why some people treat his wins differently.
"I’m hungry to fight, to do my job,” Souza said. "That’s not something that affects me. Everybody sees I’m excited, I want fights. Unfortunately, it’s not the fight I wanted. I wanted Luke, everybody knows that. Everybody knows I asked for Romero too. I’ll tell you the truth, the only guy in the UFC I truly don’t want to fight is (Gegard) Mousasi because he’s trouble.
"I fought him, the truth is that I was in a good day, and he wasn’t in a good day, and he will show that to everyone when he fights Chris Weidman. You’ll see how good Mousasi is. But the criteria with me is completely different.
"When we were coming up, everyone together, they said Jacare didn't fight tough opponents, Luke Rockhold fought The Barbarian, who I just fought, and demolished him. Man, I also demolished him, but now that I fought him he’s nothing? Jacare fought Belfort in the end of his career, but how about Lyoto? He was bad when he got demolished by Luke and Romero. They use a different criteria when it’s me. When it’s me winning, they come up with excuses.
"Lyoto defeated Mousasi and fought for the belt. I not only defeat Mousasi, but I did it convincingly, submitted him, and didn't fight for the belt. Those are things that happen to me, and I think it’s weird. I don’t sell (pay-per-views)? Cut the bullsh*t. You don’t know what you’re talking about."
Watch the full media scrum below (click “CC” on the player for English translation).