Jacare coming to America

Discussion in 'MMA, Boxing & Other Combat Sports' started by Mac Sabbath, Dec 1, 2009.

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  1. Mac Sabbath

    Mac Sabbath New Member

    Sep 18, 2005
    Widely considered one of the top three Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners in history, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will export his unique brand of the Gentle Art stateside for the first time in a matter of weeks.

    Souza, the only five-time open weight Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, will meet Matt Lindland in a featured middleweight clash at Strikeforce “Evolution” on Dec. 19 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. A successful stateside debut against the 2000 Olympic silver medalist could thrust Souza into immediate contention for Jake Shields’ Strikeforce middleweight crown.

    “Expect a great fight, not a wrestling, jiu-jitsu or grappling match, but a great MMA fight,” Souza said. “I’ll certainly try to use my jiu-jitsu to beat him, but I won’t forget that it is an MMA fight. My number one focus is winning the fight. Using my jiu-jitsu comes in second.”

    Lindland -- a UFC veteran who has tested himself against some of the sport’s most accomplished stars, including Fedor Emelianenko and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson -- poses a unique set of problems. The 39-year-old, however, has not fought since his ugly knockout loss to Vitor Belfort in January.

    “He’s a great fighter,” Souza said. “He’s an Olympic-caliber athlete and won an Olympic medal, as well as being a very experienced MMA fighter.”

    Still, he seems unconcerned with Lindland’s wrestling prowess.

    “I know that I’m not letting him get back up if it goes to the ground,” Souza said. “There’s only going to be one takedown. If he puts me on my back, I’ll sweep him.”

    The match will mark not only Souza’s first appearance on American soul but his debut with the Strikeforce promotion, home to a middleweight division that includes Shields, former EliteXC middleweight titleholder Robbie Lawler and Cung Le, among others.

    “Strikeforce made me a very good offer, and I’ve always wanted to fight in the U.S.,” Souza said. “Every fighter has to follow the great events, really. If you get a chance to fight for a great company and you’re well-paid to boot, you have to be happy.”

    Souza, who has posted nine of his 10 victories by submission, professed confidence in his all-around skills, including his evolving stand-up game.

    “I’m not going in there just to show I can strike,” Souza said. “My focus is being a great MMA fighter, which requires you to learn stand-up, especially since the fighters start on their feet. I’ll use what I’ve learned. I know he’s a southpaw. I know how I’m supposed to move. I know what strikes have the best chance of landing. I’m covering everything to ensure a great performance when it comes time to fight.”

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