Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza introduced himself to ‘UFC only’ fans in impressive fashion this past May, by storming through Chris Camozzi for the first round, choke out win. The victory demonstrated why for some time Souza has been considered one of the planet’s best middleweights, and not just because he’s god like on the grappling mats.
As a result of the win, and his #5 ranking, Souza has been tapped to fight the division’s #3 fighter Yushin Okami on September 4th. While it’s no secret Okami’s grinding style isn’t everybody’s cup of MMA tea, the judoka has been a considerable force in the UFC now for years. Case in point, the only men to defeat him in 17 Octagon bouts are Tim Boetsch, Rich Franklin, Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva. In other words, not too many contenders likely jump for joy when they find out they’re fighting “Thunder.”
So, what does Souza’s head coach Josuel Distak think of his fighter’s chances heading into his UFC Fight Night 28 bout with Okami? In a recent interview with MMA Fighting.com he relayed he thinks they’re pretty fantastic.
“Jacare is ready,” Distak said. “It’s going to be an important fight because they are both top-five fighters, and we’re focused. It’s a bad match-up for Okami in every aspect of the fight. I don’t see how he could win. The thing is, we will get to Okami’s weakness and explore that. I believe his weakness is the stand-up game, so we will go for the knockout.”
Of course you would expect Distak to go with “Jacare”, but Okami and his supporters can likely think of a way the powerful fighter can win. Souza has world class jiu-jitsu skills, but Okami’s grappling and top game are also at an elite level. It’s an intriguing fight, and if Souza can take out Okami in impressive fashion, he’ll be within reach of a title shot.
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