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Dana White: Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza Could Fight Vitor Belfort Next

John HeinisSenior Analyst IOctober 5, 2013

Former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo Souza put the UFC's middleweight division on notice when he scored a TKO win over former title challenger Yushin Okami at UFC Fight Night 28 one month ago. 

UFC President Dana White is certainly not overlooking the decisive win by "Jacare," indicating that the submission specialist will get a high-profile bout next, per Fighters Only

Jacare is a great fighter and he beat Okami in a sensational fashion. He is injured, but a fight between him and Vitor Belfort is a possibility,” White said at the UFC 168 media tour earlier in the week. 

The five-time World Jiu-Jitsu champion is known for his impeccable ground game, with 14 of his 19 career victories coming by tap out, but he has also rapidly improved his stand up ever since losing the Strikeforce title to Luke Rockhold in September 2011. 

Since then, the Judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt has rattled off five straight stoppages, including two by way of knockout. 

The hot streak has earned the 33-year-old the No. 3 spot in the UFC's official middleweight rankings

A win over his fellow countryman Vitor Belfort would all but guarantee Souza a shot at the middleweight strap. 

Belfort, the No. 2 middleweight in the aforementioned rankings, is a former light heavyweight champ who is riding a four-fight win streak at 185 pounds. 

Since 2007, "The Phenom's" only losses have come to then-middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva and light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones. 

The hard-hitting Brazilian has a chance to avenge an October 2006 Pride loss to Dan Henderson in his next Octagon outing, rematching "Hendo" at UFC Fight Night 32 on November 9. 

An impressive win against the former Pride and Strikeforce champ could derail plans of a potential Belfort-Souza matchup since it would undoubtedly place Belfort in top contender territory once again. 

Chris Weidman will defend the middleweight title against the same man he won it from, Anderson Silva, at UFC 168 on December 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Should UFC matchmaker Joe Silva decide to make it happen, would Belfort vs. Souza be a bout the fans would pay to see?


John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA Editor for eDraft.com.

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