Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza is inching closer to another division title, thanks to his dominant three-round victory over Francis Carmont in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 36 (watch it), which took place last Saturday night (Feb. 15, 2014) in Santa Catarina, Brazil.
But "Jacare" will be going under the knife before going back into the Octagon.
That's because the Brazilian suffered a painful arm injury during his training camp, which left bone fragments in his arm and nearly forced him to withdraw from the "Limitless" opportunity. Fortunately, he was given the green light by his physician to continue.
Souza breaks it down at the UFC Fight Night 36 post-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting):
"I didn't have trouble (in the fight) because of the injury. I have bone fragments in my left arm and I almost pulled out of the fight, but I asked the UFC to continue. I asked my doctors if I could fight and they said there was a high possibility that I could fight. I won’t be able to train for around six weeks. I’ll have to do an arthroscopic surgery to clean my left arm."
Fortunately for Souza, the division is on hold until the main event concludes at UFC 173 over Memorial Day Weekend, where Vitor Belfort will challenge Chris Weidman for the division strap (details). That means "Jacare" -- as well as fellow "Fight Night" winner Lyoto Machida -- can afford some wiggle room when it comes to scheduling a new fight.
And Souza hasn't ruled out competing against "The Dragon," or Luke Rockhold, for that matter, if that's what his employer wants:
"We can fight, yes. I wouldn't want to, but I'd accept this fight if that's what the UFC wants. Lyoto is super professional and I'm sure he would also take it. That kick [Rockhold] took from Vitor (Belfort) I can't get out of my head. He's not well ranked, but if that's what the UFC wants, I would accept to prove I'm better than him."
Machida is likely next in line for the middleweight title and may be one step ahead of Souza in the division title chase. Rockhold, however, is back in the hunt after planishing Costas Philippou and does hold a win over the Brazilian back in Strikeforce.
Either of those two match ups doing anything for you?
For more results, play-by-play and LIVE fight coverage of the UFC Fight Night 36: "Machida vs. Mousasi" event, including recaps, videos, reactions and more click here and here.