Few fighters had a breakthrough year like Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza did in 2010. Both inside and outside the cage, Souza ended the year on high notes.
“2010 was a great year. I won the Strikeforce middleweight championship, I had great fights, I got married to my beautiful wife Larisa, and my son Enzo was born,” he told MMAWeekly.com.
“Definitely 2010 was a special year in my life.”
Not only was Souza having a great year personally, his inclusion in the award-winning EA Sports: MMA game made things even sweeter.
“That was pretty cool,” admitted Souza. “I really enjoy playing games and really like the way the EA Sports: MMA game came out. (It is) very realistic and I really enjoy playing it; especially the takedown and ground games.”
As for the key to Souza’s success that saw him defeat three of the top middleweights in the world in Matt Lindland, Joey Villasenor, and Tim Kennedy, Jacare credits one of the most basic aspects of fighting.
“Training, training, and (more) training,” he said. “I am very lucky to have such a great team. My life is all (about) balance, and all I do is training and improving my game.
“At the X-Gym, beside my coaches and teammates, we keep getting high-level fighters that are coming by our gym to help us on our daily training.”
When it comes to the improvement of his game, Souza’s stand-up is the area he would most like work on in 2011.
“I always try to keep all the aspects of the game sharp, but I am working a lot on my striking, especially because of the level of my coaches and training partners,” he stated. “They are really pushing me and making sure my hands are improving.”
This work will come in key against Souza’s next opponent, Robbie Lawler, as the two meet in San Jose, Calif., on Jan. 29 for Strikeforce’s 185-pound title.
“I think that it will be (the classic) grappler against the striker match-up,” said Souza. “Robbie is a very tough opponent with a heavy hands and I have to be very well prepared for this fight, so I am training my jiu-jitsu, working hard on my stand-up, and getting ready for Jan. 29.”
Should things go well against Lawler, Souza’s goal is to remain at the top of his division and prove he’s one of the best middleweights in the world.
“I want to keep my Strikeforce middleweight belt, have great fights, improve my game and be always prepared for to fight the best,” stated Souza. “I will fight anyone that weights 185-pounds, and it is up to Strikeforce to decide who my next opponent will be.
“There are a lot of good guys on my division, and there are other guys that can drop to my weight as well. So there are greats match-ups to be made. We will see what Strikeforce will put in him front of me in the future.. For me it is about being prepared and taking one fight at a time.”
Having achieved a great deal this past year, Souza is not content to sit and bask in his glory, but instead he intends to take things to an even higher level in the year to come.
“2010 was a very special year for me and that just pumps me up to do better in 2011,” closed out Souza. “I am looking forward to always entertaining my fans and bringing my best in my training and to my fights.
“Being a MMA fighter is my profession and that is what I live for. Good bless you all and Happy New Year!”