Jacare Souza Battles Jack Hermansson at UFC Fight Night 150 in Florida
Posted on: April 27, 2019, 01:00h.
Last updated on: April 26, 2019, 07:53h.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has a chance to earn a shot at the middleweight title, but he’ll need to beat Jack Hermansson at UFC Fight Night 150 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday in order to get that opportunity.
Hermansson came in as a relatively late replacement for Yoel Romero, who was originally supposed to take on Souza in the main event of UFC Fight Night 150.
Souza Promised Title Shot With Win
Thankfully for MMA fans, the replacement still resulted in an interesting matchup between two legitimate middleweight contenders. The 39-year-old Souza (26-6) is currently ranked fourth in the division, and has been promised that a win over Hermansson will earn him a title shot, giving him added motivation to come away with a win this weekend.
According to Souza, that promise was a key reason for him to take the fight even after his opponent changed just weeks before the fight.
“I didn’t like what happened, at all, but accepted the fight,” Souza told MMA Fighting. “Everyone in the UFC promised me the belt if I won, and that’s something no one ever did to me before.”
Hermansson Wants to Solidify Contender Status
Hermansson (19-4) is ranked 10th in the division, and hasn’t always been seen as a potential contender in the UFC middleweight division. But three straight wins, including first-round submissions over Gerald Meerschaert and David Branch, have rocket Hermansson into the rankings and established him as a fringe contender.
The Swede’s status as a top fighter at 185 pounds could be cemented with an impressive win over Souza, something Hermansson recognizes heading into the bout.
“If I beat him, especially if I beat him in a dominant fashion, then I’m gonna be one of the names you talk about to be up there for the title,” Hermansson told MMA Junkie. “Jacare is a really legit opponent, he’s super dangerous and only the best guys in the division have been able to beat him. If I beat him, I think I’m one of the best guys in the division.”
Souza is known for being one of the best jiu-jitsu fighters in the world, a fact that has made opponents reluctant to take fights to the ground against him. But that might not be the case for Hermansson, who has a strong grappling game himself to go along with ground-and-pound skills and a number of submission victories.
Those facts haven’t escaped Souza, though he remains confident he can get the best of the bout if it goes to the mat.
“I fear his jiu-jitsu. I respect his jiu-jitsu. He has great submissions, he’s long and can surprise anyone,” Souza told MMA Fighting. “However, going to the ground with me is complicated…I’m there to finish the fight, and I don’t think he can handle it.”
Given his longer resume and more established status as a contender, Souza has been installed as a clear favorite in the fight. Bovada has the Brazilian as a -205 pick to win, though Hermansson (+165) is being given plenty of respect thanks to his recent string of impressive victories.
Also on Saturday’s card is a co-main event between heavyweights Greg Hardy (-340) and Dmitry Smolakov (+260), with the former NFL defensive end favored despite losing his first UFC fight by disqualification in January.