Ronaldo Souza claims he is waiting for fellow UFC middleweight contender Derek Brunson to sign the dotted line for a fight in Brazil. Brunson, however, said he agreed to fight “Jacare” at a different event.
Ronaldo Souza could be meeting Derek Brunson in a pivotal middleweight matchup early next year.
“Jacare,” a top UFC 185-pound contender, revealed in a Twitter post Monday that the promotion offered him a bout against Brunson at UFC Fight Night 125 in Brazil in February. Souza has agreed to the fight, he said, and is now waiting for Brunson, a fellow top contender, to do the same.
UFC offered me Derek Brunson to fight on February 3rd at UFC FN 125, Belem do Para, Brazil. I already agreed to fight on Belem do Para, Brazil, now is up to Derek Brunson, I hope he doesn’t come up with escuses about the location and date of event. @ufc
— Ronaldo Jacaré (@JacareMMA) November 20, 2017
“I already agreed to fight on Belem do Para, Brazil, now is up to Derek Brunson,” Souza wrote. “I hope he doesn’t come up with escuses (sic) about the location and date of event.”
Brunson responded to Souza’s tweet, saying he agreed to fight the Brazilian a week earlier at UFC on FOX 27 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He added that he will “be in touch” after this weekend’s Michael Bisping vs. Kelvin Gastelum fight in Shanghai, China. Bisping vs. Gastelum is an important fight for the middleweight division, with Bisping having just lost the belt to Georges St-Pierre earlier this month.
That’s weird . I accepted for Jan 27 in Charlotte, NC. I’ll be in touch after this weekend’s fight! See you in NC. https://t.co/IrA88q4kEu
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) November 20, 2017
The UFC has yet to comment on both fighters’ claims.
Souza (24-5, 1 NC) is coming off a second-round TKO loss to now-interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker at UFC on FOX 24 this past April. That snapped a two-fight winning streak, which consisted of stoppage wins over Tim Boetsch and Vitor Belfort. The former Strikeforce champ is 7-2 in the UFC overall.
Brunson (18-5) is riding a two-fight winning streak, with knockout victories over former UFC champ Lyoto Machida and Daniel Kelly. The 33-year-old was known for his wrestling years ago, but his last six wins have all ended by TKO or knockout in the first round.
Souza and Brunson have met once before. The pair fought at a Strikeforce event in August 2012. Souza stopped Brunson early in the first round. The bout marked the last time Brunson competed in the promotion, while Souza had one more fight for Strikeforce afterwards before it was bought out by the UFC.
UFC Fight Night 125 takes place at Mangueirinho Arena in Belem, Brazil on Feb. 3. No fights have been officially announced for the card as of yet.