Dana White Says Jacare Souza vs. Yushin Okami “Is the Fight We’re Gonna Make”

May 24, 2013
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Ronaldo Jacare Souza - StrikeforceFollowing an impressive first-round submission of Chris Camozzi in his Octagon debut, former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza may not be far removed from a UFC title shot.

UFC president Dana White on Thursday confirmed that Jacare’s next bout would likely be against fellow Top 10 middleweight Yushin Okami. A win over Okami would make it difficult to deny that Jacare was ready for a shot at the belt.

“That fight will happen, Okami and Jacare,” said White at the UFC 160 media day in Las Vegas. “That’s the fight we’re gonna to make.”

As he alluded to, the fight has yet to hit the home stretch, and White said he wasn’t sure what the target date or location was.

The victory over Camozzi put Jacare (18-3) on a four-fight winning streak since losing his Strikeforce belt to Luke Rockhold in 2011.

He is widely considered one of, if not thee, most dangerous submission ace in the middleweight division.

About the same time Jacare lost his Strikeforce belt, Okami ran into the brick wall that is Anderson Silva when trying to capture UFC middleweight gold. He followed that up with a surprising loss to Tim Boetsch, but has since returned to form.

Okami has currently won three consecutive bouts, defeating Buddy Roberts, Alan Belcher, and Hector Lombard. A victory over Jacare would put him right back in the thick of UFC title talk.

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  • Stefano ‘Zwonimir’ Sega Nogaro

    Okami is an high-ranked gatekeeper and a bad matchup for Jacaré, if the brazilian can get past him I think he’ll ready for a shot to the belt.
    Okami has a great positional grappling and sub defence, hardly will KO or sub Jacaré, and Jacaré improved striking can be a plus in the last round when Thunder generally get tired.

    • Madmmax

      Well said. Really tough match up for Jacare. However, still think he would need one more fight after Okami before tittle fight

    • Lucas Freire

      Considering Okami will be the one taking Jacaré down, right? I don’t think Okami will be a bad matchup for Jacaré. Jacaré has lots of raw power,solid hands and always improving standing. Not to talk about his sub game.
      Okami is a grinder but, as we saw at the Maia vs Fitch bout, it’s not a good choice to try and grind a BJJ expert.

      • Served

        i think Okami will prefer to stand and may attack Jacare in the clinch…

        Okami will use his superior wrestling skills to keep the fight standing.

        Okami should also have the advantage standing. but it could go either way.

    • barnettoo

      How is Okami a gatekepper?

      Would you consider anyone who is not the champ or contender a gatekeeper?

      • Lucas Freire

        He’s a gatekeeper as he is on the top10 for quite some time but never reaches for the title challenge.
        He was 1 fight from title contention when he lost to Rich.

        He was 1 fight from the title when he lost to Sonnen,and his chance to get the shot was much more a grudge rematch than a proper fight for title contention
        Aaaaaaaaaaaaand,he was up on the top for the title contention when he lost to Boestch.

        • Supaman

          lol… first of all, he eventually got the title shot…

          but a “top 10 fighter” is NOT a gatekeeper… a top 10 fighter is a top 10 fighter…

          gatekeeper is one who’s NOT a top 10 fighter and NOT in the legit
          conversation of being a title contender. Okami is as you basically
          said, always in the title conversation.

          Bisping is more of a
          gatekeeper than Okami. However, a truer example of a gatekeeper would
          be guys like Chris Leben, Patrick Cote, or Alan Belcher..

          a “gatekeeper” is someone who is decent, and someone you can test /
          gauge the new guys to see how close they are to being a true contender.

          • barnettoo

            Just a difference in the definition of gatekeeper I guess.

            In a sport where there is a universe of difference between #1 guy and the rest of the pack in terms of pay, I guess anyone that is not a champ or contender can conceivably be labelled a gatekeeper.

            But that word carries a disrespectful tone. A top 10 fighter in the world deserves more respect than that.

            It’s like calling a top 10 fighter a stepping stone. Everyone is a stepping stone for someone. But that word has a negative connotation.

  • Okami Will lose to the alligator

  • kbroesq

    I think everyone seeing Jacare coming off such a dominant performance thinks he’s going to beat Okami. I think Okami is going to shut Jacare down with clinch work against the cage and it’s not going to be a pretty fight.

    Anything is possible, but this has the makings of a very boring decision victory for Okami.

    • barnettoo

      I agree. I agree 100%.

      Only noobs nuthug Jacare. I’ve seen the dude from day 1. He was one of the few top fighters outside the UFC. But inside the UFC, he has yet to prove his worth.

      Okami is going to shut Jacare down with long jabs and clinches and eek out a SD or MD.

  • Great match for Jacare. I was a fan of Okami until he did pretty much nothing against Hector Lombard. The MW division still has plenty of interesting fights. Tim Kennedy is still a force. Wouldn’t mind seeing Rockhold/Belcher.

    • barnettoo

      how is this a great match up for Jacare.

      • O pAssAro

        where does vitor fit into this picture?

        • Lucas Freire

          On the title shot after the Silva vs Weidmann I guess.

      • Yushin is on a 3 fight win streak. He is a veteran fighter and well rounded. He fought for the title against Silva. Not a bad name to have on your resume.

  • barnettoo

    My thoughts

    First, by looking at his last few fights, there are certainly signs that Okami is going downhill. I just see a problem with the thunder’s ability to take punches.

    Second, Jacare will not submit Okami. Okami has never been submitted. Jacare will have a tough time taking the larger Okami down and controlling him there.

    Third, I haven’t seen impressive standup skills from Jacare. For Christ’s sake the dude lost to Luke Rockhold and has not yet faced a top fighter in the UFC.

    This is why I predict SD/MD win Okami.

    • Lucas Freire

      I disagree. He hasn’t impressive stand-up but he has pretty solid hands,and Okami has a pretty glassy jaw
      And the question about him never being submitted is quite doubtful,as other than the much smaller Jake Shields,he never faced any real top grappler. In fact, now that Maia is gone I think Jacaré is the only top grappler on the division.

      • Truth

        “glassy jaw”??? he got KO’ed once by Tim Boetsch who’s a big guy. Yushin has always been very durable and tough guy.

        • barnettoo

          oh god.

          Okami USED TO BE a big durable tough guy.

          I’ve noticed the difference in him since the Boetsch and Silva fights. In his last two fights, he just has that punch drunk look about him.

          Lucas doesn’t know what he is talking about. Jacare comes and submits a nobody in the UFC and now Jacare can submit a top 10 dude in the UFC who has never been submitted in his life.

  • Mike

    He is going to destroy Okami.

  • Supaman

    i think the biggest news here is that UFC is going to push Jacare to fight for a title (IF he gets past Okami). I’m surprised that he’d be willing to fight his friend, Anderson??

    • shakejunt

      actually i’d think that’s exaclty why they match him up with okami. okami is far from another shot and otherwise would be knocking off contenders. he’s the perfect opponent to keep jacare busy from doing the same.

  • Mark McDowall

    I would much rather see Jacare vs Belfort…but Jacare vs Okami could be a good one too.