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Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza retires from MMA: ‘It’s really over’

Jacare is loosing his grip on mixed martial arts and sinking his teeth back into jiu-jitsu.

UFC Fight Night Ronaldo Jacare Souza v Hermansson Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Ronaldo Souza (26-10-0-1) has retired from professional mixed martial arts (MMA) competition. “Jacare” announced his MMA retirement, planning to sink his alligator-like jaws back into the world of competitive Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the age of 41.

“I’ve already fought too much, I’ve retired too young from jiu-jitsu, and I think I’ve fought too much in MMA and I have no plans to go back to fighting,” Souza told Combate (translation courtesy of MMA Fighting). “It’s really over. I’m retiring from MMA, and I’m going back to the sport where I made history, the sport I love too much.

“I’m returning to training and, who knows, [maybe] I’ll go back to competing [in jiu-jitsu],” he continued. “I’m driven by challenges, and jiu-jitsu is becoming a challenge to me because it’s evolving too much, there are so many new things. It’s beautiful to watch.”

“Jacare” — once a highly-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight fighter — is a former Strikeforce 185-pound champion. He ends things on a career-worst four-fight losing streak with consecutive losses to Jack Hermansson, Jan Blachowicz, Kevin Holland and Andre Muniz.

His overall stellar career includes highlight-reel finishes of world champions Chris Weidman, Vitor Belfort, Gegard Mousasi and Robbie Lawler, as well as notable wins over Derek Brunson (twice), Jason Miller, Tim Boetsch and Yushin Okami. He has also shared the cage with killers like Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold. A finisher through-and-through, Souza boasts a near 85 percent finishing rate with 14 submissions and eight (technical) knockouts in his 26 professional fights.

Thanks for the many, many MMA memories, “Jacare.”

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