Costa Philippou is set to take on former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza at UFC on FX 8. This event will take place on may 18 in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil at the Jaragua Arena. This is the second big fight lined up for the card after it was announced that the long-rumored bout between Luke Rockhold and Vitor Belfort would headline. These are two of the biggest matches that can be made in the UFC’s middleweight division, especially after many of the top contenders lost in their most recent fights.
With Demian Maia’s exit from the weight class, Jacare is now, most likely, the best jiu-jitsu practitioner in the division. He has captured 13 of his 17 wins by submission, and most recently he finished longtime UFC veteran Ed Herman in a little over three minutes with a kimura. This will be the first time that Jacare has fought in Brazil since 2007. Since 2007, Jacare has gone on an impressive 7-2-0-1 tear, with his only losses coming to current light-heavyweight contender Gegard Mousasi and the aforementioned Rockhold. Also, Jacare’s stand-up game has only gotten sharper, which was shown in his knockout of Derek Brunson last August.
Philippou will most likely test those stand-up skills in their fight, because that is where half of his wins have come from. Originally, he was supposed to be a part of the eleventh season of TUF, but a loss in the opening round to make it into the TUF House signaled his exit. Luckily for him, the UFC needed a late replacement when Dan Miller had to be pulled from his fight against Nick Catone, and they gave Philippou the chance. He lost that fight, but he has gone on to win five straight bouts. His last match was a big win over Tim Boetsch, which set him up to face Jacare.