Top-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight contender, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, is on the mend following knee surgery and expects to return to action in September.
"Jacare," who recently dispatched Chris Camozzi for the second time at UFC on FOX 15 in April, is back in the gym training and would welcome a crack at either fellow elite middleweights Luke Rockhold or Yoel Romero, both of whom he has fought or was scheduled to fight.
"As far as next opponent, it can be Weidman, Rockhold or Romero," Jacare's manager Gilberto Faria told MMAFighting.com. "All I can say Jacare will be the next UFC middleweight champion."
Based upon his recent disdain for his competitors skills, it would seem that way. Jacare has finished four of the five UFC opponents who have stood opposite him ... three of those four finishes coming in the opening round.
However, a situation like the one we have at Middleweight is exactly the reason UFC has a pecking order, to find out who is the best.
Rockhold and Romero have both beaten multiple ranked opponents in destructive fashion. The 30-year-old Rockhold last starched former Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida at the same UFC on FOX 15 event earlier this year, while "Soldier of God" clobbered "The Dragon" at last weekend's UFC Fight Night 70 show in Hollywood, Florida (catch highlights here).
Rockhold, however, says Romero is "running on short time" and is not buying into the Romero-hype one bit.
With the logjam at the top of the heap at 185 pounds, one fighter could get left out of the Weidman sweepstakes. For the time being, Rockhold would appear to have the slight edge (based on this).
Crazier things have happened, though.
Fights between Jacare, Rockhold and Romero all sound very pleasing when you consider Jacare previously lost his Strikeforce Middleweight belt to the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) standout in Sept. 2011. The Brazilian bomber would have never fought Camozzi in April had it not been for Romero's own knee problems.
Who do you think will emerge from the trio to challenge the "All-American" later this year?