Third-ranked middleweight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza wants a title shot, but the top of the 185-pound division is a crowded place. Champion Michael Bisping is expected to defend the belt against Yoel Romero this summer, but there's a log jam of former champions and deserving contenders in the queue.
“I’m the champion without the title,” he said during the UFC 208 Post Show. He holds wins over three of the top ten and lost a controversial split decision to Romero in December 2015. At UFC 208, Souza made quick work of Tim Boetsch, submitting “The Barbarian” in the first round.
Souza could wait for Bisping and Romero to take place and likely face the winner, but he's not willing to be sidelined while the top of the division sorts itself out.
“I want to fight the champion. If it’s going to take a while, I might take another fight because I don’t want to sit around. I was not born to sit around. So I might take another fight if it’s going to take too long to get a title shot,” he said during the UFC 208 post-fight press conference.
The loss to Romero at UFC 194, a fight which many believe Souza won, is still a sore spot for the Brazilian contender.
“If the fight with Romero ever happens, I can prove that I’ve never lost a rematch,” said Souaz. “It will be a great fight for me. I’ll prove that I didn’t lose the first fight, and a rematch would be on my side. I lost to the judges, not to him.”