Ronaldo Souza (19-3-1, pictured) or ‘Jacare’ as he’s more commonly known, will step up to the light heavyweight division in pursuit of Jon Jones (18-1) and his light heavyweight title, should training partner Anderson Silva (33-5) defeat Chris Weidman (10-0) in their upcoming middleweight title rematch at UFC 168, according to his trainer Josuel Distak who recently spoke to Sherdog.
Distak told Sherdog that if Silva is successful, then rather than fight his fellow X-Gym member, ‘Jacare’ would move up to 205 and go after the light heavyweight title, currently held by Jon Jones.
“Jacare is always going to step up. He will fight in two weight classes. Everything will depend on Anderson Silva’s fight against Chris Weidman [at UFC 168]. If Anderson wins, we’ll go after Jon Jones’ belt. Let us prove to the world that we have character; we don’t fight against each other. This is the story of the X-Gym. Jacare is also ready to fight in the division above.”
Souza put in an impressive display in his recent outing at the UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader event earlier this month, scoring a first round knockout over top contender Yushin Okami (29-8), showcasing the jiu jitsu world champion’s ever improving striking game as he continues his rise to the top. Distak feels that Souza’s win over Okami is simply proof of his evolution as a fighter.
“Jacare continues to evolve, and he proved it against Okami. People who have not seen Jacare in Strikeforce had no idea how [good] he was. Fighting in the UFC allows him to show his work to everyone, that he is for real.”
Prior to Anderson Silva taking on Chris Weidman at UFC 168 on December 28th, Jon Jones will defend his light heavyweight title against Alexander Gustafsson (15-1) on September 21st at UFC 165. However, the winner of that bout is likely to be incidental to ‘Jacare’ and his camp, given that neither fighter is a member of the X-Gym.
Regardless of who is champion in either division, ‘Jacare’, while certainly making people stand up and take notice in his two UFC outings, is likely to need another victory over an established opponent before receiving a title shot, although as UFC President Dana White would say, he’s “certainly in the mix”.