Forget about Chris Weidman, Luke Rockhold, and Dan Henderson. Newly crowned Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight king Michael Bisping has another potential title hunter nipping at his heels.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo Souza threw his name into the hat to be the next guy in line for a title shot. After all, "Jacare" recently butchered mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Vitor Belfort via first-round TKO back at UFC 198, extending his promotional record to 6-1 in the process.
"I'm not afraid at all, I think I deserve the title shot," said Souza in response to the idea that he'd be passed over after declining to fill in for any injured Weidman at UFC 199. "Even if they give me somebody else to fight before the title shot, I might take it and spank someone. But I know I have the right to be the next one."
For what it's worth, Souza's only loss in the UFC came via split-decision back at UFC 194 opposite Yoel Romero, who tested positive for Ibutamoren and has been serving a shortened suspension under United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) rule ever since.
"I probably should have been better prepared for that fight, but I believe I did a good job," added Souza regarding his defeat to Romero. "I came back, I showed heart. And he was not loyal. He kind of fought dirty, held the cage twice. It is what it is."
While the UFC Middleweight division has never had more deserving title contenders than it does right now, Souza is certainly on the short list of potential challengers considering his overall dominance since entering the promotion back in 2013.