Former UFC middleweight contender and undisputed Strikeforce middleweight champion, Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza has officially announced his retirement from professional mixed martial arts career, following his recent release from the North American promotion.
Souza, who last featured at UFC 262 back in May at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas — suffering the first submission loss of his storied professional career after he suffered a fractured humerus in his right arm following an opening round armbar attempt from compatriot, Andre Muniz.
The 41-year-old slumped to his fourth consecutive loss against Muniz, following a knockout defeat to Kevin Holland, as well as pair of decision blemishes against current light heavyweight champion, Jan Blachowicz in his divisional bow, after a loss to Jack Hermansson. Following his loss to Muniz, Souza was released from his contract with the UFC.
A 37-fight professional veteran, Souza, who is recognised as one of the most decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners to make the transition to the sport, established a professional record of 26-10 since his transition to the sport back in September 2003.
The Espirito Santo native has scooped undisputed under the now-defunct Strikeforce banner — taking a unanimous decision victory over Tim Kennedy to lift the vacant crown back in August of 2010. In his sole successful title defence, Souza submitted former undisputed UFC welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler.
Speaking during a recent podcast with Brazilian outlet, Combate reporters, Marcelo Russio and Ana Hissa, Souza confirmed that he would be hanging up his gloves from professional mixed martial arts competition.
“I’ve fought a lot, I retired from (Brazilian) Jiu-Jitsu very early,” Souza said. “I think I’ve fought a lot of MMA and I don’t intend to fight again. Its really over. I’m retiring from MMA, and I’m returning to the sport that I made history (in), the sport that I really like.“
“I’m going back to training and, who knows, I’ll go back to competing (in submission grappling),” Souza explained. “I’m challenge-driven, and Jiu-Jitsu for me is becoming a challenge, because it’s very evolved, there’s a lot of new stuff. It’s beautiful to see.“
Souza, a stunning fourth degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Henrique Machado, has managed to scoop gold twice in the ADCC World Championships, as well as managing a staggering eight separate World Jiu-Jitsu Championship victories.
In his mixed martial arts career, Souza has bested the likes of Alexander Shlemenko, Jason Miller, Matt Lindland, Tim Kennedy, Robbie Lawler, Derek Brunson (x2), Yushin Okami, Gegard Mousasi, Vitor Belfort, and Chris Weidman.