After winning his first four fights under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner, Ronaldo Souza has secured his spot at the front of the middleweight title hunt and earned himself the No 2. spot in the 185-pound rankings.
His title fight, though, was delayed a bit further after current champion, Chris Weidman, was forced to bow out of his title defense against Vitor Beflort -- which was supposed to go down on Dec 6, 2014, in Las Vegas, Nevada -- because of an injury.
So instead of sitting around and doing nothing, Souza's trainer, Josuel Distak, wants his pupil -- who is fresh off elbow surgery -- to take part in a "special" light heavyweight bout on the same pay-per-view (PPV) card that Weidman and Belfort will headline in early 2015.
"I believe Jacare already proved that he deserves a shot at the middleweight title, but, once he's recovered from this second elbow surgery in January, it's the same time as Chris and Belfort, so what can we do? I like the idea of putting Jacare in a special light heavyweight fight. I truly believe that, with the exception of Rafael ‘Feijao' and Rogerio ‘Minotouro,' Jacare can fight anyone in that division as preparation to face the winner of Vitor and Chris. I don't think it's fair that Jacare should cut weight to fight in the division where he's ranked No. 2. Jacare already fought in open-weight matches during his jiu-jitsu career. I would love to see him facing Henderson in February, on the same card that Belfort will face Weidman. Henderson is a legend, and the fans would love to see that match up. But, Ronaldo could face anyone in that division except Rogerio and Feijao. I don't see any problem with making that test. The world needs to know the potential of Ronaldo Jacare."
"Hendo," meanwhile, did indicate that he wants to return in Feb. 2015; however, he was undecided at which weight class. But he wants to fight at UFC 182, which is set to host the much-anticipated title fight between 205-pound champion Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier on Jan. 3, 2015.
Clever "Hendo" is clever.
Henderson has competed at light heavyweight and middleweight, so it's very interesting that Souza's coach only mentioned a fight at 205 pounds without the option of letting it take place at 185 pounds.
Nevertheless, pitting "Souza" against "Hendo," as entertaining as it might be, likely won''t happen because the promotion typically isn't in the business of matching up No. 1-ranked contenders against aging veterans just for the hell of it.