Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza sure looked ready to try and win back his Strikeforce title. A 41-second knockout of Derek Brunson this past month put the ex-champ at the top of the middleweight contender list for most MMA observers.
Souza is ready to fight, his manager Gilberto Faria today told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com
). But the call from Strikeforce has yet to come.
"So far, we haven't been contacted regarding 'Jacare' being on the (Nov. 3) card, but it would seem like not," Faria said.
As earlier reported, champ Luke Rockhold is scheduled to co-headline "Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir" against Lorenz Larkin on Nov. 3 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The card will air live on Showtime and Showtime Extreme.
Faria said Souza (16-3 MMA, 6-1 SF) needs a call by the end of this week to even agree to compete on the mid-fall card.
"If he doesn't get a call this week, it's going to be too close to fight," he said. "We've got to get back in the gym and be ready to rock and roll."
Following news of the impending title fight between Rockhold and Larkin, speculation on Souza's future immediately pointed to a possible fight with Roger Gracie, who went 1-2 against Souza on the submission grappling circuit and in July made his debut at middleweight.
Faria expressed warm feelings toward Gracie and said he wasn't opposed to the potential matchup, though he thought it was perhaps a premature challenge for the Abu Dhabi champ.
"He's a great guy," Faria said. "Roger is still getting his feet wet at 185, but Jacare is a bad matchup for him right now."
Souza is 2-0 since he lost a unanimous decision to Rockhold in September 2011 at "Strikeforce Grand Prix: Barnett vs. Kharitonov." In addition to his highlight-reel knockout of Brunson, he submitted Bristol Marunde in March at "Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey."
Souza already has taken on and beaten the bulk of high-level middleweights in Strikeforce, so his options appear to be limited. For now, he and his camp wait.