Giovani Decker, senior Vice President and general manager of the UFC in Brazil, announced that Brazillian Middleweight fighters Vitor Belfort and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will headline a UFC event on May 14 in Brazil. The announcement was made on the Brazilian TV Show “Revista Combate,” on Tuesday. An official city and arena have not been announced yet.
Rumor has it that Belfort was previously going to be matched against Cuban fighter Yoel Romero, before Romero was suspended on the suspicion of doping due to an out-of-competition. Both men sit sternly in the top five of the UFC’s Middleweight divisional rankings and the new crowning of UFC Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold leaves a potential and coveted title shot up for grabs in this high stakes match-up.
Jacare Souza (22-4, 5-1 in UFC) is coming off a controversial split decision loss to Yoel Romero at UFC 194. At the start of the fight, Jacare was dropped by a spinning back fist by Romero but was able to survive the round, seemingly rallying up the next two rounds to most MMA media scorecards. The judges decision was however awarded to Romero. Yoel was thought to be the next Middleweight contender to face new champion Rockhold, however a possible USADA anti-doping violation may cause Romero to surrender his coveted opportunity. Souza had yet to record a loss inside the octagon up until that point looks to be awarded his long sought after title shot and rematch against Rockhold, who defeated him in a razor thin match-up in Strikeforce back in 2011.
Belfort (25-11, 14-7 in UFC) is coming off another destruction of Dan Henderson in which Belfort closed the saga between the two men in that rubber match via another head kick knockout. Belfort fought for the title last May against then champion Chris Weidman. After an explosive start and lead against the champion, Belfort would be taken down and finished by strikes before the first round could end. After Rockhold became the new champion in December last month, Luke interestingly called for a rematch against Belfort citing a desire to get back at the Brazilian after losing to Vitor via spinning heel kick knockout in the first round back in 2013, instantly throwing “The Phenom’s” name back into the hat of title contenders.
No other fights have been announced for this card.
-Eric Scott, Trey Dennis, Nick Peralta