Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza released a statement this week to inform fans of a couple important items:
First, the Brazilian said that he went into his UFC 198 bout against Vitor Belfort last Saturday injured.
Despite winning the fight, Jacare said his injured knee will need surgery, which he was set to undergo on Thursday. Souza went on to say that he was offered a title shot next month at UFC 199 when former champ Chris Weidman badly injured his neck and pulled out of his scheduled match against champion Luke Rockhold.
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Souza says his injuries required that he not accept the short-notice fight. Still, he plans to fight the winner of the bout between Rockhold and last-minute replacement Michael Bisping once he heals.
Souza's translated statement is 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!"