Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza has looked phenomenal since losing his title. He's won six straight fights, finishing all but one with three of them coming inside the UFC.
Jacare's success is mainly down to his astonishing improvement in his striking. When he was Strikeforce Champion, the Brazilian mainly relied on the size to drag his opponents to the ground and followed it up with his world class Jiu-Jitsu when he got his way. However losing to Luke Rockhold really taught him that he must improve his stand up.
We've certainly seen that and his TKO of former UFC Middleweight Title contender Yushin Okami was by far his most impressive performance to date. Now, Souza, 20-3, is targeting an August return to the Octagon and looks to fighter higher class opponents.
According to reports, Souza's manager, Gilberto Faria, said: "We are done fighting guys behind us in the rankings. It's time to release the beast."
Currently ranked number four in the UFC's Middleweight rankings, that only leaves champion Chris Weidman, former champion Anderson Silva, current number one contender to the title Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort.
With Silva looking to return at the start of 2015, it seems that 'Jacare' wants an immediate title shot against the winner of Weidman v Machida or a number one contenders bout against Vitor Belfort. The Belfort fight makes a lot more sense.
With Weidman defending his belt against Machida on July 6, the winner will likely target to defend the belt again in December. Therefore, that is a long time for the top of the Middleweight division to be inactive.
After all, Belfort was in line for a shot at Weidmann's belt before the new TRT regulations ruled him out of the fight. 'The Phenom' looked unbeatable previous to that, knocking out Michael Bisping, Luke Rockhold and Dan Henderson.
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