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Jacare Souza in ‘incredible’ shape entering UFC 256, vows to beat ‘excellent’ Holland

UFC 230: Weidman v Souza Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Middleweight veteran Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will be looking to right the ship tomorrow night (Sat., Dec. 12, 2020) at UFC 256 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada, when he takes on streaking contender Kevin Holland.

Souza, who turned 41 earlier this week, is entering one of the most important fights of his career. That’s because the Brazilian legend hasn’t captured Octagon victory since a knockout win over Chris Weidman back in 2018 and nearly saw his entire 2020 campaign get wiped away due to COVID-19.

“Jacare” was expected to face middleweight contender Uriah Hall back at UFC 249 before testing positive for coronavirus just one day before the fight. Souza was removed from the card and hasn’t competed since. This weekend’s main card clash with Holland will be the first time the Brazilian is stepping inside of a cage since November of 2019.

“I’m all right, I’ve had an excellent camp. I brought in some tough guys to help me.” Jacare told Combate. “Lots of experienced people, like Lyoto Machida. Great coaches, like Adrian Jaoude, my wrestling coach. My camp was very tough. I’m well, happy and relaxed. I’ve really been feeling great physically, it’s been a while since I’ve felt this great. I had been kind of lazy, so I brought some guys over to kick my ass everyday. I brought over coaches, great people to help me. Now I’m in incredible shape. I did a great job and I’ll be excellent in this fight.”

Despite his age and lack of success over the past two years Souza remains a big part of the UFC’s middleweight division. His last fight was a failed attempt at light heavyweight when he dropped a split-decision to Jan Blachowicz one year ago, but Souza is back at 185 pounds and eager to make another push towards gold.

Unfortunately, the veteran fighter will have his hands full when he takes on Holland this weekend in Vegas. Holland has produced a 4-0 record inside of the Octagon in 2020 alone and is one of the more dangerous up-and-comers in the middleweight division. Defeating a fighter like Holland will do wonders for Souza’s own divisional stock entering next year.

“He’s excellent,” Souza admitted. “We must give credit to a guy who wins four in a row in the UFC. He’s hard-working, a really tough guy, I respect him a lot. To me, it’s just another fight. A tough opponent. I’ll go out there, show my work and win.”

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 256 fight card right HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 256: “Figueiredo vs. Moreno” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For more upcoming UFC events in both Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi click here.