Luke Rockhold will next defend his Strikeforce middleweight title against Lorenz Larkin on Nov 3, but that came as a surprise to former champion Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza.
Most believed Jacare had earned the next shot at Rockhold after his first round knockout over Derek Brunson in August, but Strikeforce officials opted to go another route and offer the fight to Larkin instead.
According to the Brazilian’s manager, Gilberto Faria, Souza was completely healthy, but was not offered the fight with Rockhold.
“Jacare is 100% healthy. Jacare normally needs 8 to 10 weeks for his camp in preparation for a fight. So for November 3rd card the clock is ticking and most like he will not be able to fight on this card,” Faria told MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday.
Jacare lost the Strikeforce middleweight title to Rockhold in Sept 2011 and has gone 2-0 since that time to work his way back into the contender’s race.
His manager says that for now Strikeforce is planning on bringing Jacare back at the beginning of 2013, and not the Nov 3 card headed for Oklahoma City.
“On my last conversation, they told me Strikeforce has plans for Ronaldo Jacare for beginning of 2013. We just hope they have a card for early January, Jacare gets cranky when he stays 4, 5 months without a fight,” Faria said.
While some were left wondering why Larkin was chosen instead of Souza to face Rockhold for the middleweight title in November, the former champion was more concerned about something else entirely.
Jacare wanted to fight in November, but it wasn’t about facing Rockhold, it was just about staying active and getting another fight in before 2012 ended.
“Jacare is more disappointed for not being on the November card than fight against Luke (Rockhold),” said Faria.
“All he wants is fight. He is on his prime and keeping him busy, fighting 3, 4 times a year will help him to evolve as a fighter and his great performances will keep coming.”
For now it appears Jacare will have to be a spectator for the Nov 3 card, and await word if he will face the winner of the title fight between Rockhold and Larkin.
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