The upcoming Strikeforce show in July will have at least one title defense on the card. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will likely defend his middleweight belt as a part of the event.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker confirmed his participation to MMAWeekly Radio. While no opponent has been signed, they are targeting July for Souza’s next title defense.
“Here’s a guy that we try to fight our fighters three times a year for the title, and he fought in August, he fought in January, and you can probably count on him coming back in July,” Coker stated.
Souza last competed in a hard fought battle with former EliteXC champion Robbie Lawler. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt eventually submitted Lawler with a rear naked choke in the third round.
It was Souza’s first title defense after winning the belt against Tim Kennedy in August 2010, after Jake Shields left the promotion for the UFC and vacated the title.
At this time, Souza doesn’t have an opponent for July, but Coker did mention that it’s something they are hoping to nail down in the coming weeks.
“Nothing to announce right now, it’s undetermined,” Coker said regarding opponents for Jacare. “But that’s something we’ll probably deal with in the next three weeks or so.”
Two possible names at the top of the list could include a rematch with Kennedy, who is coming off a win over Melvin Manhoef in March, or even Jason “Mayhem” Miller, who has unfinished business with Souza after a fight the two had in 2009. The fight was stopped after Miller landed an illegal upkick that opened a cut on Souza, forcing an end to the bout.
Look for Strikeforce to finalize an opponent for Souza sometime in the next month.