Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza is preparing for what will be his final fight under the Strikeforce banner, as the organization is set to close after one last event in January.
However, Souza has reportedly signed a five-fight extension with Forza, the subsidiary responsible for Strikeforce operations (via MMAFighting.com).
Since Forza is a part of the same company that owns the UFC, it would appear that Souza signing with that branch of the organization was simply a legal formality. Ultimately, the Brazilian will end up competing inside the Octagon following his last Strikeforce bout against Ed Herman.
Because the UFC could have easily waited to lock Souza into a contract until after his fight with Herman, it looks like the outcome of that matchup will have no bearing on the former Strikeforce champion's future with the world's premier MMA promotion.
That being said, the competition Souza will face in his UFC debut will certainly depend heavily on whether he wins or loses against Herman at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine on Jan. 12.
Plenty of fighters have already been added to the UFC's roster since it was decided that Strikeforce would be shutting down operations. Souza will definitely be one of the most notable competitors to make the transition.
Should Souza beat Herman, fights against middleweight grapplers like Yushin Okami or Jake Shields could be very intriguing for the world-class jiu-jitsu practitioner.