Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza isn’t interested in fighting MMA again, but would still like to return to competition in the future.
One of the most decorated fighters to ever transition from jiu-jitsu to MMA and become a top-contender in the sport, “Jacare” hung up his gloves three months after being released by the UFC in August 2021. Yet, going back to the mats for special jiu-jitsu matches isn’t his No. 1 priority at the moment.
“Honestly, I have no desire to fight MMA again,” Souza said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocacao Franca. “I’ve fought a lot, I’ve done a lot, and I have no interest fighting MMA again. You can boxing, though, if you work hard and don’t get hurt, it is something that you could do.
“People will ask me how about jiu-jitsu then, but I’ve fought jiu-jitsu my entire life. I’m just a teacher now [laughs]. But we want a different challenge. That’s it.”
The experienced grappler has shown heavy hands throughout his 37-fight career, knocking out high-level opposition in Chris Weidman, Derek Brunson (twice), Yushin Okami and Vitor Belfort. Souza said that he would like to move into boxing if he did so, although he isn’t certain if Belfort will agree.
“[People] may say that Jacare is hard to beat. It’s boxing. Souza chuckled. “Just got there to beat ‘Jacare’ and go home with some money, but I don’t think this fight will happen. All respect to Belfort, I’m not disrespecting him.”
“Jacare” admitted that he was expecting Holyfield to cause Belfort problems, but he enjoyed watching Belfort tear up the boxing icon in the squared circle. That said, Souza would “definitely” repeat the result from their UFC 198 clash in Curitiba, Brazil, if they met in boxing, referring to his first-round TKO over Belfort.
But Belfort may not be the only Brazilian superstar “Jacare” has in mind when it comes to a possible boxing match. Paulo Costa is another UFC middleweight champion who has been at odds with them and still has one fight in his contract. Souza also likes boxing’s other names.
” I think that a match against ‘Borrachinha would be also cool, because it’s from a different generation,” Souza stated. “I’m not disrespecting ‘Borrachinha’, I just think it would be a good fight. Everybody would like it, different generations. Let’s not forget ‘Borrachinha [has] the heavy hand, but let’s also see if ‘Jacare .”
can handle it.
” That would generate a lot more buzz, there’s no question about that,” he said. “He’s still fighting in the UFC, he has a contract, I don’t know if he would leave to box. Let’s see. I think it would be cool. Ask him if he’d do it