How does the UFC’s top ranked middleweight emerge victorious from a fight that lasted all of two minutes and 33 seconds and not become the division’s consensus top contender?
That’s the question Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (pictured) is asking himself following Saturday’s easy peasy submission win over Chris Camozzi.
Sure, Souza was a whopping 18-1 odds-on favorite against the last-second replacement, but he did exactly what he was supposed to do against such a significant longshot. So how did Souza’s stock seemingly drop?
If Camozzi would have taken him beyond the opening round or even all the way to a decision in a competitive fight, then maybe there could be a compelling case for Souza not getting next crack at the crown. However, the Brazilian cruised past the underdog like he wasn’t even there.
If Yoel Romero, who is currently ranked sixth in the weight class, didn’t pull out with an injury and Souza did the same thing to him, would that have solidified his next in line status?
Sadly for Souza, probably not. What Luke Rockhold did to Lyoto Machida minutes after Souza left the cage has made Rockhold talk of the MMA town. Fans from across the globe are currently chatting around the water cooler about how mundane Rockhold made the former light heavyweight champion look in a second round submission victory.
If Souza was given the same opportunity to plead his case for a title fight in an in-octagon interview with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan like Rockhold was, would that have helped the Brazilian’s case?
Probably not. Souza’s English is half-decent, but the delivery wouldn’t have matched Rockhold’s. So, he lost there, too.
Speaking of losing, the fact that Rockhold is the last man to beat Souza (for his Strikeforce middleweight belt, mind you) in the last four years doesn’t help his cause, either.
UFC president Dana White was noncommittal as to which 185-pounder will advance to meet the victor of UFC 187‘s title affair between champ Chris Weidman and Vitor Belfort.
Unfortunately for Souza, given the hoopla surrounding Rockhold’s performance, the writing is already plastered across the cage wall.