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“Jacare” Souza’s Run at Light-Heavyweight Could Already be Over

After coming up short against middleweight contender Jack Hermansson earlier this year, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza [1]decided to move up to light-heavyweight. But, after failing to get by Jan Blachowicz at UFC Sao Paulo, Souza’s reporting he could be headed back to 185.

Image Credit: UFC / YouTube

Souza comments on future

Souza wasn’t handed an easy test in his first Octagon bout at 205, as he agreed to take on Blachowicz, one of the UFC’s best light-heavyweights. Although Souza controlled much of the lackluster, slow-paced fight, it was Blachowicz who emerged with the split decision win.

Recently the Brazilian star spoke with MMA Fighting [2], and while discussing his next move, Souza said this:

“My manager and my team are talking which weight class I’ll fight next, so there’s a lot going on here right now,” Souza said. “We’ll make a decision really soon on what’s best for us. We’re looking at staying at 205 or going back to 185.”

“I didn’t expect it would be so tough (to take him down),” Souza said. “I was also surprised by his size. I trained with heavyweights for this fight and this guy is really big [laughs].”

This is kind of interesting to hear. On one hand, the fight was very competitive, and Souza also said that “everybody” was expecting Blachowicz to “kill me”. So, it’s not like the fight went horrifically wrong (although it was widely panned). For example, Weidman was quickly taken out by Dominick Reyes in his light-heavyweight debut, and the former champ’s also talking about a possible return to 185. [3]

But, as Souza also alluded to, at light-heavyweight he’s going to have to deal with much larger and powerful opponents. So, if Souza can make 185 in a healthy manner, returning to middleweight might be the right move here.

And what about the weight-cut?

Speaking of the cut to 185, Souza had this to say, while discussing that very issue:

“Everybody suffers cutting weight, that’s life, but I’m 40 years old,” Souza said. “I cut weight my entire life and maybe I was full of it, but I’m excited again, I’m happy, and I want to work. I’m still one of the top fighters of the division.”

Reading between the lines here, it sounds like we could see “Jacare” returning to middleweight. After all, Souza did take Weidman out last November, and prior to that, he lost via split decision to Kelvin Gastelum. So, it’s not like Souza’s been getting bombed out on a regular basis. The only fighter who has stopped him in his last 10 bouts is now former middleweight champ, Robert Whittaker.