UFC Fort Lauderdale: “Jacare” Souza Outlines Why he Insisted on Title Shot Provision
By FCF Staff
“Jacare” Souza is booked to face Jack Hermansson tomorrow night at UFC Lauderdale, but recently he revealed finalizing the bout was no easy endeavor.
Souza was initially scheduled to fight fellow middleweight contender Yoel Romero at the event, but the latter was forced to withdraw due to illness. Hermansson agreed to step-up on short notice, but while speaking to the media recently, Souza reported the following (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“It was hard negotiating for Jack,” Souza said in his native Portuguese. “That was hard. That was tough. I didn’t want to accept the fight at all. It’s a risk that I’m taking. I’m putting my career at risk; that’s the truth. It made me very upset, this fight. But we talked, and this and that. Then (UFC matchmaker) Mick Maynard came in, Hunter (Campbell), (UFC president) Dana White, all those people, and I said, ‘Either you promise me the belt and put that to paper and send it to me, or there’s no deal.’”
“It was tough because everyone put a lot of pressure on me,” Souza said. “That’s what upset me a lot. … Everyone was, ‘Take the fight, take the fight.’ And the UFC people calling. And I said, ‘I don’t want this fight. I don’t want it. I won’t take this fight.’ And then Dana White, ‘Take this fight, it will be good because of this and that.’ And in my head, ‘Don’t take it, don’t take it, don’t take it.’ At the end of the day, we reached an agreement that is good for me.”
Souza (26-6, 1 no-contest) hasn’t competed since last November when he knocked out Chris Weidman. The Brazilian star has gone 3-2 in his last 5 contests.
Hermansson (19-4), meanwhile, is coming off a submission win over David Branch on March 30th and has won three straight fights.