Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is nearing the end of his storied MMA career. On Saturday, May 15, the 41-year old Souza will square off with Andre Muniz in a middleweight bout at UFC 262. And although he knows he’s at the tail end of his time in MMA, Souza doesn’t plan to go away quietly.
“I have to say something,” Souza told the media at a pre-fight press conference. “Sometimes, young lions kill old lions. But sometimes, they die trying. I want to kill this guy. I’m ready to win.”
Souza has lost his last three fights dating back to April 2019. All three of those losses came against top-flight competition, including current UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz. In his last appearance, Souza was knocked out by Kevin Holland while inside Holland’s guard.
“It was horrible for me,” Souza said about the Holland loss. “Nobody expects that s***, but he did a great job and beat me (badly)… That was crazy and will never happen again.”
Souza will have his hands full against Muniz, who is a decade younger than Souza, undefeated in two UFC bouts, and currently riding a six-fight win streak. Souza recognizes that Muniz, while not a household name, is a legitimate threat.
“He has a very good jiu-jitsu (game). He’s a strong guy, a young guy, and I know him because he’s from Brazil. He fought against good fighters that I know.”
Jacare Souza was an incredibly accomplished jiu-jitsu competitor prior to making the move to MMA full time. He was an ADCC champion and superfight winner, as well as a multiple-time IBJJF world champion. In jiu-jitsu competition, he holds notable wins over Roger Gracie (twice), Braulio Estima (three times), Fabricio Werdum, and Marcelo Garcia (twice).
In MMA, Souza has acquired a 26-9 professional record with wins over former UFC champions Chris Weidman, Vitor Belfort, and Robbie Lawler. In 2010, he won the Strikeforce middleweight title with a decision over Tim Kennedy.