With Luke Rockhold out, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has turned to Jacare Souza as a replacement opponent.
Rockhold was scheduled to meet Chris Weidman in a rematch at UFC 230. The bout would’ve served as the co-main event. Instead, Rockhold went down with an injury. It didn’t take long for the UFC to come up with a plan.
Jacare Souza Meets Chris Weidman
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto has reported that UFC president Dana White confirmed that Souza will be yanked from his bout with David Branch to take on Weidman:
Weidman vs. Jacare is done, per Dana White. UFC trying to keep David Branch, who was scheduled to fight Jacare, on the card. Jared Cannonier is a possibility, but not done.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 20, 2018
As the tweet mentions, Branch was initially set to meet Souza. It’s a tough break for Branch, who had done so much on social media to get the high-profile match-up with Souza. Now, he risks losing a short-notice fight and potentially being ousted from title contention.
Weidman hasn’t been seen in action since July 2017. The “All-American” submitted Kelvin Gastelum, but so much has happened since that fight that Gastelum is lined up for a title shot against champion Robert Whittaker in early 2019. Weidman has had to undergo multiple hand surgeries.
As for Souza, he’s coming off a split decision loss to Gastelum back in May. He’s gone 1-2 in his last three outings and at the age of 38 going on 39 in December, the clock is ticking on Souza’s chances to become a UFC champion. A win over Weidman could secure him a title opportunity against the winner of Whittaker vs. Gastelum.
Who do you favor in this match-up, Chris Weidman or Jacare Souza?