Souza: Submission Win Over Mousasi Earns UFC Title Shot

Ronaldo SouzaMASHANTUCKET, Conn. – No. 4 middleweight contender Ronaldo Souza (21-3, 1 NC) won at UFC Fight Night Foxwoods with a third round submission of No. 7 contender Gegard Mousasi (35-5-2) and believes his performance was significant enough to earn No. 1 contender status in the UFC middleweight division. UFC President Dana White isn’t in complete agreement with Souza on the matter because another title fight is scheduled.

“Definitely, I’m the No. 1 contender for the middleweight title,” said Souza, “I deserve the chance for the title, and I want the chance for the title.”

Jacare’s win was a revenge of sorts for a loss to “The Dreamcatcher” in 2008 that Souza believes should not have any bearing on where the two fighters should rank today.

“I don’t even really remember that defeat. It was something that happened,” said the Brazilian, “this is a totally different fight. I’m a different fighter, and I came in and submitted him.”

With the win Friday night, Souza now has back-to-back wins against Top 15 opponents since he defeated No. 15 contender “Limitless” Francis Carmont (22-10) by a unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night Machida vs. Mousasi in February. In the Carmont fight, Souza was out-struck by three but had two take-downs and three passes to none.

In Friday night’s performance, Souza out-struck Mousasi by six and had four takedowns to none and seven passes to none in a dominant performance that ended with a guillotine choke late in round three. Souza has been red hot, having won seven straight fights with finishes in six of the seven.

“Obviously ‘Jacare’ looked incredible tonight; he put on a great performance,” said White, “I’m sure he’ll fight again before we talk about title shots.”

“Talking about title shots, there’s a title shot that’s going to happen first. It depends on when this thing goes down, what goes down, what happens with Chris Weidman,” said the UFC President, “It’s tough to say, ‘Yeah he’s getting a title shot,’ when there’s already a title shot in line.”

Current UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman (12-0) is set to defend his title at UFC 181 in December against No. 3 contender Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (24-10).

“Right now I’m only focused on the title,” said Souza, “I need to go home and relax with my kids, take some vacation time with my wife and I’ll think about that later.”