UFC 234: ‘Jacare’ Souza Can’t be Faulted For Comments Re: Anderson Silva’s Title Shot Prospects

Anderson Silva and ‘Jacare’ Souza are ex-teammates and longtime buddies, but the latter’s not happy the former champ has a title shot on the line at UFC 234. Can you really blame him?

Recently it was announced that Silva is going to fight rising star Israel Adesanya at UFC 234, February 10th, in Melbourne, Australia. Not long after it was revealed that the fight is going to serve as a title shot eliminator and that the winner will advance to face whoever takes the Robert Whittaker – Kelvin Gastelum fight that same night.

Well, all that went down following UFC 230 in November, when Souza took out Chris Weidman. Leading up to the fight, Souza had said that if he won, he should get a title shot, and after the victory, he reported he’s going to wait on the sidelines until he fights for the 185 belt.

So what does Souza think of the fact Silva could leap past him for a title shot if he defeats Adesanya? Well, according to a recent report from MMA Fighting, Souza had this to say during a chat on PVT:

”In my (jiu-jitsu) days, I competed in the state tournament to earn a spot in the World Championship. If I didn’t win the state champion, I didn’t fight the Worlds,” Souza said. “(If I won), no one would jump the line. Now, because the guy has a name and everything… The reality is, Anderson is coming off doping, man. Anderson is out of the ranking. Do you understand that?”

Now, yes, Silva supporters would likely point out that in terms of the former champ’s last USADA flag, it was concluded a contaminated supplement was behind the positive test for banned substances. Further, the UFC has handed out title shots to fighters who are coming off USADA suspensions, see Brock Lesnar. Also, “Spider” boosters might argue that considering Silva’s legacy he deserves to fight for the belt again if he takes out one of the division’s fastest rising commodities.

But, even if you do feel that way, you can’t fault Souza here. After all, this a man who is 9-3 in the UFC, and has defeated notable names like Weidman, Gegard Mousasi, Vitor Belfort and Derek Brunson during that time. The only fighters to beat him in the Octagon are reigning champ, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero and Kelvin Gastelum. The last two only defeated Souza via split decision.

In addition, the only official win on Silva’s recorded since 2012 was his victory over Derek Brunson last year. So, Souza’s frustration is pretty understandable.

In the current MMA landscape, however, the fact the UFC has gone this route with Adesanya – Silva, shouldn’t be a surprise. Perhaps more than ever, financial considerations have a more significant impact on who receives title shots than meritocratic factors. It’s for that reason Souza may very well need to fight again, before fighting for the title.

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