The San Jose, CA based Strikeforce MMA promotion recently announced that they have signed Brazilian middleweight Ronaldo Jacare Souza to a multifight contract. He is expected to make his Strikeforce debut on the same October event as recently signed Fedor Emelianenko, which will be broadcast on the Showtime premium cable network. Though it didnt receive anywhere near the media attention of Emelianenkos rejection of the UFC for Strikeforce, MMA experts know full well that ‘Jacare’ is a top notch acquisition.
In a statement released by the promotion, Souza expressed his pleasure at the signing:
I am very excited that I will have the opportunity to fight in STRIKEFORCE amongst many of the worlds best middleweight fighters. STRIKEFORCE has an extremely deep roster of top middleweight fighters. I am looking forward to the challenge and to taking my career to the next level.
Souza got the nickname ‘Jacare’ as a child in his hometown of Manaus, Brazil”its Portuguese for a species of alligator that is common to the area. He clearly likes the moniker, and is known for making ring entrances while making alligator jaws with his arms.
He was a runner up in the 2008 DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament, losing in the finals to Gegard Mousasi. Jacare was in control of the fight until he got caught by a Mousasi upkick that knocked him unconscious. In his last fight, he faced American Jason Mayhem Miller in a rematch of their DREAM tournament bout. This fight ended in a no contest after Mayhem was cut by an inadvertent illegal blow.
Souza, who took up Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the age of 17, fought MMA legend Randy The Natural Couture to a draw in a grappling contest in 2006 and, shortly thereafter, began training at Xtreme Couture. He has since returned to training in his homeland but will reportedly train in the United States at least part time going forward.
MMA fans are already anticipating several excellent potential matchups for Jacare in Strikeforce, including a catchweight matchup between Souza and Nick Diaz.