Former Strikeforce middleweight titleholder Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza makes his UFC debut on May 18 against Chris Camozzi in the co-main event of UFC on FX 8 and is confident that he’ll emerge victorious.
Souza (17-3-1) was originally slated to face Constantinos Philippou, but a cut incurred in training forced Philippou out of the bout.
Camozzi (19-5) was scheduled to face Cezar Ferreira, but Ferreira had to pull out of the fight due to an injury. Camozzi was then lined up against Rafael Natal, but that fight was scratched when Philippou was forced out of the match with Souza.
Camozzi was moved up the card as Philipou’s replacement, while Natal got a new opponent in Joao Zeferino.
“I am very confident in my victory. He was already going to fight on this same card,” said Souza in an interview with UFC.com. “He was going to fight against Rafael ‘Sapo,’ but now I’ll be fighting against Chris Camozzi. And I am very happy to have an opponent.”
With the fight being his promotional debut and taking place in his homeland of Brazil, Souza wants to make a lasting impression.
“I think you have to sell the fight to the public. The public is who is paying for our paychecks. They buy the tickets to see us. I don’t like to see boring fights and as a fight fan I understand that side,” he said. “The public has to enjoy and you have to impress, especially your opponent. And put the pressure on as well.”
While it is his debut and his gaze hasn’t strayed from Camozzi, Souza’s ultimate focus is on getting to a title shot.
“I see myself going up step by step to the top of the division. I wasn’t born to be in second place; I was born to be a champion. Step by step, I want to conquer my space in the division,” said Souza. “You can expect a motivated Jacare ready to get that victory in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu style.”