Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza had a very valid reason for not accepting a short notice fight with Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, as he underwent surgery to repair an MCL injury. Well, that hasn’t stopped Michael Bisping from ripping him endlessly.
“Listen, I want this,” Bisping said in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “‘Jacare’ speaks all the time about wanting a shot at the belt. Well, it was offered to him on a silver platter and he turned it down… I never thought ‘Jacare’ would turn it down. Who turns it down? He just destroyed Vitor Belfort. He’s in great shape. Yes, he might have a sore knee. Listen, I’ve got injuries all over the place, but you do it. You fight. The world isn’t perfect. You wait for the perfect conditions, the perfect conditions never come.”
Bisping’s criticisms extend beyond just Souza in the field, as he believes there isn’t anyone other than himself ready to take advantage of opportunities like the one he has next week in California.
“There’s a lot of people in the division that don’t want it,” Bisping said. “A lot of people that don’t want it. [The UFC comes] to me, I’ve never said no once. As I said, I believe this is my destiny. I believe the universe is pulling it together. I’ve been slogging away for 10 years. Not only do I deserve this, I know I can do this.”
Penick’s Analysis: He’s got a point about waiting for perfect conditions, and Souza not taking the fight now could certainly mean the opportunity doesn’t wind up coming around again. That was certainly the case for Bisping. Regardless of any ailments he might be dealing with, if he hadn’t stepped up to take this fight he almost assuredly wouldn’t have wound up getting another crack. With the timing of the bouts, and Chris Weidman and Jacare Souza both being ahead of him in the rankings, he’d have needed to win another fight or two to get back into this slot, and there’s no guarantee that would happen. Souza’s in a bit better spot, because he may still get the next title fight, and even needing to win another fight probably isn’t as much of a concern him, but there’s certainly risk there in losing out when he perhaps could have fought through the injury.
[Michael Bisping art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
Attention iPhone/iPad and Android users, if you’ve enjoyed our app in the past and followed us there, or if you’ve never checked it out, make sure to update to the latest version in the Apple store and/or Google Play store. We’ve launched a new look for the app, in line with our recent desktop overhaul. Make sure to check it out!
For current App users, swipe right to view next article, swipe left to view previous article.