Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza: '[Michael] Bisping Is Fleeing Every Way We Can'

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UFC middleweight Ronaldo "Jacaré" Souza is scheduled to face Tim Boetsch at UFC 208 Saturday, Feb. 11, in Brooklyn, New York. And while Yoel Romero is believed to be the next challenger for Michael Bisping's 185-pound belt, "Jacare" sees his friend Anderson Silva as somewhat of a threat for his own title ambitions.

Training partners at X-GYM in Rio de Janeiro, "Jacaré" had recently stated that he would be upset should Anderson Silva get the next crack at the belt—which seems understandable considering the fact that "The Spider" hasn't officially won a fight since 2012. However, in an interview with Ag. Fight for FloCombat at Wednesday's official UFC 208 media day, the Brazilian changed his tune and wanted it be known that there is no friction to be found between him and his training partner.

"The reality is that (Anderson fighting for the belt next) is all speculation," Souza said. "I cannot speak of something that is not concrete. It is something that many are speculating about (but) we do not know if it will happen, so I can not say anything about it... I was not born to wait for anyone. I was born to do my job. This business of waiting is not for me."

Should Silva get the shot at Bisping, who narrowly beat him last year at UFC London, that would mean a delay not only for Souza's title shot but also for Romero's plans to become the UFC's middleweight king. That's why Souza doesn't completely rule out a rematch against the Cuban, whom he lost a close decision to at UFC 194 in December of 2015.

"I considered Romero as my next possible opponent because Bisping is fleeing every way he can," Souza said, referring to Bisping trying to get money fights against Georges St-Pierre and Tyron Woodley rather than facing the top contenders at middleweight. "That's why I said that Romero could be my next opponent. But as I said, it could. I do not know if it will actually happen."

Despite having to answer questions regarding the situation of training partners and potential opponents, "Jacaré" insisted that his real concern right now is Boetsch. And although "The Barbarian" seems like a surprising choice for Souza's next opponent, the bout against the UFC's 13th-ranked middleweight is a dangerous one for the Brazilian. As a huge betting favorite, a loss for Souza would spell disaster for his quest to the title. 

At age 37, one year older than his opponent, Souza said he did not change anything in his training for "The Barbarian." The Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert pointed out that his preparation was quite regular, focusing on the skills needed to implement his game plan on fight night—and only then analyzing his opponent's strengths and weaknesses.

"In training, I focus on what I will do in the fight and I will train accordingly," Souza said. "I train my techniques, and only at the end of the camp I observe my adversary and study him. I will fit in the techniques that I used the whole camp. I did a good training camp and I'm prepared for this fight."

For FloCombat via AG.Fight

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