UFC Contender, Former Strikeforce Middleweight Champ Jacare Souza Retires

Jacare Souza UFC
Jacare Souza, UFC 256 weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Jacare has left the cage for the last time.

On Tuesday, Ronaldo Souza, better known as “Jacare,” announced his retirement at age 41. The longtime middleweight had become a staple in the UFC, and a popular favorite among fans — not to mention his time as Strikeforce middleweight champion.

Souza (26-10, 1NC) confirmed his decision to Brazilian outlet Combate. He had been mired in a four-fight slump, and had his arm broken by Andre Muniz in his last outing, at UFC 262.

Prior to that skid, Souza had been trading wins and losses, dropping fights to ex-champ Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum, while earning wins against Derek Brunson and another former champ, Chris Weidman.

Souza signed with the UFC in 2013, after his former home, Strikeforce, was absorbed by the promotion. He won his first five UFC fights prior to running into Yoel Romero. During his run inside the octagon, Jacare earned seven post-fight bonuses, including three back-to-back-to-back in 2018 alone.

The highlight of his career, however, was arguably his Strikeforce title win. Souza won the belt against Tim Kennedy at Strikeforce: Houston in 2010, and defend the belt a year later against “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler. Later that same year, he’d lose the strap to Luke Rockhold.

While confirming his retirement from fighting, Souza has left the door open for a return to jiu-jitsu competition. For good reason: 14 of his 26 wins have come via submission.