On paper, current middleweight No.2 contender Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza was the most deserving choice to replace Chris Weidman against Luke Rockhold at UFC 199 when the former champion was forced out earlier this week, but Michael Bisping got the nod instead.
It turns out that the Brazilian star wasn’t snubbed by the UFC however, with ‘Jacare’ issuing a statement revealing that a torn meniscus in his right knee that he suffered prior to his impressive first round victory over Vitor Belfort this past weekend at UFC 198 had left him unable to accept the title shot in just over two weeks time.
‘Jacare’ says he’ll now undergo surgery, but he doesn’t expect to be out for too long and so he’s made it clear that he wants to fight the winner of Rockhold Vs Bisping II.
Read ‘Jacare’s’ full statement below.
“I got an offer from the UFC to replace injured Chris Weidman in a middleweight title fight at UFC 199, on June 4, against Luke Rockhold, the current champion. Everybody knows my desire to fight for the title and, if possible, in a rematch with Rockhold. However, I can’t let the emotion superimpose the reason.
One week before my fight with Vitor Belfort, I felt a pain in my right knee, but still went to battle. I fought well, but was limping as I left the Octagon. The next Monday, I was examined by doctor Alexandre Campello, who recommended a MRI to better analyze the situation. While I was waiting for the results, I heard about Weidman’s injury. I would only be able to answer the UFC’s offer when I knew what I had in my knee. On Wednesday afternoon, with the MRI results, it was decided that I would go through an arthroscopy on Thursday as part of the recovery process for a minor meniscus injury.
Thereby, I can’t be fit for such an important fight on June 4. Michael Bisping is the new challenger, and I wish him and Rockhold a great fight. I want to face the winner of this fight soon and, no matter who wins, I will be ready to destroy him and become the new middleweight champion.
I would also like to thank the love from my fans, in person or on social media. I got thousands of messages every day, always supporting me and congratulating me for my work. I’m happy to know that. I also thank the UFC for understanding, and also say thank you to every member of my team.
See you soon in the Octagon!”