A middleweight matchup with title implications is headed to UFC Fight Night 36, promotion officials announced today.
Former Strikeforce champ Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (19-3 MMA, 2-0 UFC) will meet Francis Carmont (22-7 MMA, 6-0 UFC) in the co-headliner of the event, which takes place Feb. 15 at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil, a source close to promotion today told MMAjunkie (the date was originally announced as Feb. 8).
UFC Fight Night 36 is headlined by another pivotal middleweight matchup between ex-champs Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi. The event’s main card airs live on FOX Sports 1 (instead of FOX Sports 2, as was originally announced) following prelims on MMAjunkie.com.
No other matchups have been confirmed for the event.
Souza returns to the octagon after an impressive performance at September’s UFC Fight Night 32. Taking on onetime middleweight title challenger Yushin Okami, “Jacare” earned a first-round knockout with devastating punches. He made his UFC debut in May with a first-round submission of Chris Camozzi.
Carmont, meanwhile, is coming off his sixth straight UFC win and most decisive victory yet in the octagon. At UFC 165, he outwrestled Costa Phillippou en route to a unanimous decision. The native Frenchman and training partner of welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre notably dispatched Lorenz Larkin, Tom Lawlor and Camozzi, though the scorecards in the Larkin and Lawlor fights were widely criticized.
In any event, the fight’s winner could be well positioned to make a run at the title in late 2014.
For more on UFC Fight Night 36 in Jaragua do Sul, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza)