UFC 256: Jacare Souza Says Hermansson Picked Vettori Over Him


“I’m ready for a fight against whoever the UFC puts in front of me,” Jacare Souza said during the UFC 256 media day on Tuesday.

Good thing, too, because his fight with Kevin Holland this weekend was not the bout he was expecting.

Souza (26-8, 1NC), a former Strikeforce and Dream middleweight champ, was supposed to be fighting Marvin Vettori. But the “Italian Dream” was pulled from the fight and relocated to this past weekend’s UFC Vegas 16 main event. Where Vettori defeated Jack Hermansson.

It’s a fight the UFC discussed with Souza as well.

“They talked about ‘The Joker’ but he was scared,” the 41-year old said Tuesday. “I know he was scared, nobody can give me a rematch. He picked the Italian Dream, and the UFC put me to fight against [Kevin] Holland. Holland’s a great fighter, he came with some good victories, and I’m ready to fight against this guy.”

Holland is the man who Hermansson was supposed to fight just days ago. A positive COVID-19 test forced the American out of that bout. Just a week later, and he’s already cleared to compete.

The coronavirus is something Jacare knows about all too well. Souza was the first UFC fighter to test positive and be pulled from an event, earlier this year.

“I felt bad, I was the first guy who got that crazy virus. So it was a bad moment for me,” he admitted. “But right now I’m very confident, I did a very hard training camp. And I prefer to talk about my new moment.”

He’s also staying positive when asked about potential cuts coming to the UFC. 43-year old Yoel Romero was recently given his pink slip. UFC President Dana White has said that up to 60 cuts could happen by the end of the year. Just a few years younger than Romero, Souza could be on thin ice, especially on a two-fight skid.

On that front, Souza noted that “I’m in a different situation.” Especially since “I have a fight coming up. Romero turned down many fights and many events because he couldn’t fight,” he added.

Watch the full UFC 256 virtual media day pres scrum with Jacare Souza above. The event takes place this Saturday, December 12 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, NV.


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