Opinion: Jacare Deserves Title Shot
By Michael Hatamoto
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza made his sophomore appearance in the UFC a good one, completely destroying Japanese veteran Yushin Okami.
After using crisp boxing to keep Okami uncomfortable to start the fight, a brutal right hand dropped the Japanese fighter and followed with ground and pound.
This was a great shock to me, mainly because Jacare is known for his solid Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills, while his striking clearly was overlooked.
Okami, the former middleweight contender, is in a tough spot right now – he is just 3-3 in his last six fights, with TKO losses to Jacare, Tim Boetsch, and Anderson Silva. It appears Okami may have unofficially morphed into a middleweight gate keeper, because the 32-year-old still isn’t an easy fight.
If Okami is unable to hold his opponent and push them into the cage, he seems unable to control the pace of the fight like he used to.
Meanwhile, I think such an impressive victory on Jacare’s part should give him a chance to fight for the middleweight championship in 2014. He has gone 2-0 in the UFC, finishing Okami and submitting Chris Camozzi at UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Rockhold in May.
However, don’t be surprised when the UFC makes him pick up at least one more tough victory before getting a title shot. I like the idea of him facing the winner of Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson or Michael Bisping vs. Mark Munoz – any of those fighters would give him a good level of competition – and make him truly earn the title fight.