MMA Middleweight Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza Announces Retirement

MMA Middleweight Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza Announces Retirement

Ronaldo ‘Jacaré’ Souza is Retiring: What’s Next?


Ronaldo Souza, nicknamed Jacaré, is a Brazilian mixed martial art practitioner (MMA) and renowned sub grappler who regularly competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Souza is well-known in MMA circles and has competed for Jungle Fight (Brazilian MMA) and DREAM (Japanese MMA) 


41-year-old Souza is the Strikeforce middleweight champion. Strikeforce is a mixed martial arts organization based in the United States. Male competitors for Strikeforce can be crowned in the lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight divisions, while female champions win crowns in the featherweight and bantamweight divisions.


No Golf for ‘Jacare’ Souza


While Souza fans will be sorry to see the end of his MMA highlight story, he has no plans to retire. Souza has paved the way for a comeback to jiu-jitsu, where he won multiple titles before focusing on MMA. He leaves MMA on a high with a professional record of 26-10, including eight knockouts and 14 submission victories.


He did, however, tell Combate that his “fighting days were finished.”


“I’ve already fought too much. I resigned from jiu-jitsu too young, and I believe I’ve fought too much in MMA, and I have no plans to fight again,” he stated. “It’s officially over. I’m retiring from mixed martial arts and returning to the sport where I made history, the sport I adore.”


What’s next for Souza?


Considered a veteran at 41 when most MMA fighters are at least ten years younger, it was inevitable that Souza would consider a new direction. It is, however, unusual that this new approach is actually a return to an old way of life.


Souza was born into a cafuzo family in the town of Vila Velha, Brazil, and raised in Cariacica. Souza had a challenging childhood: his mother moved him to live with his brother and wider family, and at the age of 17, he began training in martial arts, specifically Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) and Judo.


He has won eight Jiu-Jitsu World Championships (WJJC), including gold in the open weight division between 2003 to 2005. Among his other accomplishments, he was the 2005 ADCC (Submission Fighting World Championship) under 87 kg Champion and the runner-up in the 2005 ADCC Absolute Division, losing only to Roger Gracie. The latter outweighed him by over 25 pounds. 


Along with Roger Gracie and Marcelo Garcia, the fans widely regarded Souza as the most entertaining BJJ specialist of their generation. Considering what we know, it’s not surprising that a return to BJJ is on the cards.


Know When to Stop 


For most athletes, knowing when to throw in the towel is a tough call. Souza’s most recent fight against Andre Muniz at UFC 262 was a sign that his time was up. 


The Souza v Muniz battle was competitive, but once Muniz was on his back with Jacare on his guard, he attempted to lock an arm-bar, but Souza’s arm became trapped in an odd position and snapped before he could tap out. Meaning the defeat brought Jacare’s losing streak to four games and inevitably the end of the line.


No professional sports person wants to give up the sport they love. Competing professionally is a way of life, and many athletes do not have anything else to fall back on. Souza hopes to challenge any signs of decline by returning to his first love, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.


Look Back to Look Forward


Souza debuted in MMA in September, 2003, at Jungle Fight’s inaugural event. Jorge Patino defeated him by KO in the first round. 


Defeat did not deter Souza, at Jungle Fight 2 eight months later he returned to mixed martial arts and former glory. He defeated Victor Babkir by submission in under 60 seconds of the opening round. 


In April 2006, at Jungle Fight 6, he won his second fight beating Alexander Shlemenko with a submission called the arm-triangle choke. Fighting twice more before the beginning of 2007, he won both with a submission during round one. Souza was on his way to his dream of becoming an MMA fighter.


In 2008 Souza contracted himself to DREAM, a Japanese MMA promotion organization, and competed in the DREAM 2008 Middleweight GP. At the DREAM 2 competition in April 2008, he became king by defeating Ian Murphy in the tournament’s opening round with a (RNC) rear-naked choke submission. 


This move earned him a spot in the DREAM 4 quarterfinals, where he faced former star MMA athlete and Middleweight Champion Jason Miller, nicknamed “Mayhem.” Souza tried for submissions throughout the bout, but Miller escaped even after repeated the leglock, rear-naked choke and armbar attempts while establishing his on-feet offensive.


Rear Naked Choke (RNC)


In martial arts, the rear choke or (RNC) is a chokehold applied by approaching from behind an opponent’s back. The term “naked” in this usage implies it. The RNC is not like any other jiu jitsu or judo strangulation methods, this hold does not necessitate the use of training pads or any uniform.


The choke is variable in two ways, the attacker’s forearm completely encircles the opponent’s upper neck before they grab their opposite arm. In the other style of hold, the attacker clasps their hands together after surrounding the opponent’s neck.


According to recent research, regardless of the grip utilized, the RNC takes about 8.9 seconds to knock out an opponent, and it’s for this reason Souza loves this technique.


Not the Last We Hear Of ‘Jacaré’ Souza

Souza is, without doubt, a talent that fans will miss, but he is unlikely to go far — beloved in his native Brazil, he’s once an athlete, always an athlete – so watch this space.

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