Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (24-5) är i nuläget inplanerad för ett möte mot Derek Brunson (18-5) på UFC on FOX 27, men hans senaste match var nästan ett år tidigare i april 2017 då han förlorade mot den nuvarande mellanviktsmästaren Robert Whittaker (19-4). I en intervju med MMAFighting.com så pratar Souza om hur han kände innan och efter senaste matchen, han berättar även att han var nära att pensionera sig efter förlusten.
When I got injured, Dr. Rickson (Moraes) said I’d needed surgery, That was seven weeks before my fight with Tim Boetsch. I said ‘no’ and decided to do physical therapy, but I couldn’t really train for that fight. I even was a bit fat in the fight. But I was fine, didn’t feel any pain in the arm or chest, and was able to submit him. When I was set to fight Whittaker, I started to train hard and get in shape, but it started to dig a hole in my chest and I lost power. He won because he was better, I thought about stop fighting because it was a long surgery. When I came back to training, seven months later, my trainer asked me to run for 10 minutes, and I called him back, ‘Brother, I can’t even run for five minutes, it hurts so bad and I’m tired’ [laughs]. It was complicated for me to return. I was thinking about retirement. It was really hard. I thought about it for a while, it was too complicated. I had to undergo surgery many times. I had never suffered any injury throughout my career, was always healthy, and all of a sudden I had a lot of injuries. I said, ‘Man, I don’t want to go to the surgery table and go through all this again.’
Det ska inte heller ha varit första gången de tankarna ha dykt upp enligt Souza
Throughout my entire career, I thought about quitting many times. In jiu-jitsu, I thought about quitting almost every month because it was too hard for me. I was away from my family in Manaus, I was a world champion and didn’t even have money to catch a bus. But I thought that I’m still healthy, training well, so there’s no reason to stop. I still have gasoline to burn. I only lost to the champion, so I can fight at the high level. When I came back it was complicated because I was completely out of shape, fat, no timing. I couldn’t even run. It was hard.
Souza berättar även att han sedan förlusten har flyttat till Orlando, USA och därmed även börjat träna där.
I called Distak, called Camoes, we’re always in touch. But I had to come to the United States. I’ve changed my life completely. I didn’t move to another gym in Rio, I moved to a different country to spend some time here, and I decided to train here. It was an option, and I believe they are okay with it. I’m happy with everything I’ve learned with them. It was a good moment, we had many wins, but I had to do this change.
Souza avslutar intervjun genom att ge sina tankar kring den kommande matchen mot Derek Brunson.
He’s still saying the bunch of crap about me he said six years ago, and I will go there and annihilate him, That’s the plan. It hasn’t changed anything. If he comes with that chin high, screaming ‘punch me,’ it will end the same way, There’s no such thing as overconfidence, man. I’m experienced, I have a long career. I will go there and do my job, do everything I’m training.
UFC on FOX 27 går av stapeln 28:e januari på Spectrum Center i Charlotte, USA.