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Despite jump to light heavyweight, the psychologically-improved ‘Jacare’ wants Kelvin Gastelum rematch at middleweight

UFC 224: Nunes v Pennington Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

Longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender, Ronaldo Souza, was hoping to rebound from his upset loss to Jack Hermansson earlier this year in Ft. Lauderdale, but when it came time to put pen to paper, there were no Top 10 middleweights available for the foreseeable future.

At light heavyweight, however, it was a much different story.

That’s why “Jacare” has agreed to jump up in weight for his Jan Blachowicz headliner at the UFC Sao Paulo event this November in Brazil, in what could prove to be a back door into the Top 10 at 205 pounds, where the Polish power puncher is currently ranked No. 5.

But don’t close the book on middleweight just yet.

“Right now I don’t know what the future holds for me, how things will go,” Souza told MMA Fighting. “I don’t know. I have the intention to go back to my weight class, yes. I wanted a rematch with Kelvin (Gastelum), my last opponent (Jack Hermansson). Now that I’m fine, no stress, no anything. I like rematches, I always win rematches, and I would love to have a rematch with those guys.”

It’s been a rough couple of years for Souza.

The 39 year-old Brazilian went from eight straight wins to just 4-4, but more importantly, three of those four losses came to Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, and Kelvin Gastelum, who represent the top half of the division.

That may explain why Souza (26-7, 1 NC) was “burned out” by his combat sports career and ready to call it quits; however, his wife talked him into seeing a sports psychologist, which has “Jacare” feeling like his old self again.

“My wife was the one who found this psychologist for me,” Souza revealed. “I told her, ‘Are you crazy? Why am I going to talk to a psychologist? I’m not crazy.’ And that was the best thing I’ve ever done, to accept it and work on it.”

UFC Sao Paulo airs Nov. 16 on ESPN+.

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