Ronaldo ‘Jacare Souza has spoken out in a new interview about psychological problems that threatened to bring his career to a premature conclusion recently.
“Man, I was thinking about stopping (fighting),” Jacare told MMAFighting.com after a decision loss to Jack Hermansson last time out in the Octagon. “I had a psychological problem, I was burned out. I would drive to the gym and cry in the car and say, ‘Man, what am I doing going to the gym?’ My wife found a psychologist for me, I’m working on that once a week, and that has helped me a lot. I’m super happy with the opportunity of going back to fighting, I’m happy and excited and training like never before. There are a lot of good things happening in my life. Three months ago, I was crying on my way to the gym, tears would come out of my eyes and I didn’t know why. ‘What am I doing, man? I’ll stop fighting, I don’t want this for my life.’ And all of a sudden things were new again.”
However, despite being open about the fact he’s had a problem, ‘Jacare’ continues to stop short of pinpointing exactly what was the root of it all.
“It’s something that I won’t mention, it won’t be positive for anyone if I mention that, but we’ve identified it. Everyone has problems.”
Now that he’s got his mental health back in order, Souza has also taken steps to reignite his UFC career by moving up to light-heavyweight to face Jan Blachowicz in November, and that’s a new challenge that he is relishing.
“I wanted to get a tough opponent and there was no one available in my weight class, only guys outside the top 10, and all of a sudden the possibility of moving up presented itself. It’s also a way to avoid the stress of cutting weight and trying something different, right? I’ve always fought well against bigger guys. I’ve always won more openweight titles than in my weight class in my jiu-jitsu days. I thought it would be a good idea to try. I do well against bigger, stronger guys. I’m also glad to see that the UFC trusts me because they gave me this opportunity to move up in weight against a super tough guy. I’m glad the UFC trusts me like that.”