“Jacare” told MMA Fighting in November that he would sit and wait for a shot at the belt after a third-round knockout win over Chris Weidman. Five days later, UFC president Dana White revealed that Souza’s former teammate would be next in line if victorious against Adesanya at UFC 234 on Feb. 9.
On a live chat with PVT on Tuesday night, Souza reacted to the news.
”In my (jiu-jitsu) days, I competed in the state tournament to earn a spot in the World Championship. If I didn’t win the state champion, I didn’t fight the Worlds,” Souza said. “(If I won), no one would jump the line. Now, because the guy has a name and everything… The reality is, Anderson is coming off doping, man. Anderson is out of the ranking. Do you understand that?”
Silva hasn’t fought since an unanimous decision win over Derek Brunson in February of 2017. In July of 2018, the Brazilian received a one-year USADA suspension, retroactive to Nov. 2017, after proving to be a victim of contained supplements.
”You see shits like that,” Souza said, “A guy jumping the fence to beat another one, and other shits, and you… I think I’ll start doping, I’ll start doing a bunch of shit, call everyone names. Maybe I’ll fight for the belt. But my conception is this, my principles and values are unnegotiable. If I deserve it or not, if they will give me (a title shot) or not, I won’t change. That’s the way I am and that’s my point of view.
”When Chris and I were going to fight, we respected each other. Everybody talked about our respect and everybody talked about our fight. What we do outside the Octagon, has nothing to do with what we do inside the Octagon. Inside the Octagon, Chris and I fought hard, we put our hearts in there to win, and that’s what people want to see. It’s not someone coming from doping, who is outside the ranking, who is famous because he’s one of the best in the world, to jump the line. The reality is everybody is seeing that and thinking it’s crap. And that’s the truth, it’s crap.”
“Jacare” returned to the winning column after losing a close decision to Kevin Gastelum in May. Gastelum will challenge middleweight champion Robert Whittaker for the 185-pound title at UFC 234, and Souza thinks he should be next in line.
“(Yoel) Romero fought for the belt and didn’t make weight. Luke (Rockhold) was going to fight Chris but got injured, he didn’t fight. Do you get that?” Souza said. “How are you going to put any of them to fight, if one missed weight and the other got injured and couldn’t fight Chris? I was there, brother. I was there on fight day, ready to fight, healthy at 39. Who are you putting next to fight? Will you put the guy coming off doping?”
The former Strikeforce middleweight champion told MMA Fighting in November that he wouldn’t agree to be a backup plan for Whittaker vs. Gastelum in Australia since he can’t fight twice in less than three months anymore.
Adesanya vs. Silva could be used as a backup plan in case something happens to the main event on Feb. 9, but “Jacare” doesn’t think either middleweight deserves a shot at the belt.
”He doesn’t deserve it,” Souza said of Adesanya. “The only top middleweight he beat was Derek (Brunson), who was clearly scared. What he did to Derek, excuse me, I did twice and I did better than him, and I’m not even a striker.”
”I think Adesanya has everything to win, but Anderson is Anderson, right?” he said of the UFC 234 co-main event. “You can’t say he’s going to beat Anderson easily, that he will go there and make it happen. It’s Anderson. It won’t be easy for anyone to beat him. No one beats Anderson that easy.”