Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will be fighting TUF champion Robert Whittaker this weekend at UFC On Fox 24.
Win or lose against Whittaker, the former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion will become a free agent after the fight is done.
"We've been going back and forth (with UFC officials) for a while," Souza's manager in Gilberto Faria told MMA Fighting. "We still have not reached an agreement on his value, but we will continue to talk after the fight. Our goal is to reach a new agreement shortly. The UFC middleweight belt is Jacare's goal. With a good contract in place, we will keep fighting the best middleweight talents out there and earn the title shot.”
Souza has only suffered a single defeat during his tenure with the UFC, that loss came to Yoel Romero at UFC 194.
The one thing that Faria believes will play a key role in negotiations with the UFC is that his client is willing to face opposition that other fighters are avoiding.
"'Jacare' is the only guy out there who's been vocal about fighting either Luke Rockhold or Yoel Romero. Nobody else is looking for this level of trouble, especially current UFC middleweight paper champion Michael Bisping. 'Jacare' has a tough challenge ahead of him (against Whittaker on Saturday) and this fight is what matters now,” says Faria.
UFC On Fox 24 takes place on Saturday, April 15 from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri with Demetrious Johnson and Wilson Reis headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event.