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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
One of the problems facing many of the fighters in Strikeforce is a lack of top opposition. For those at the top of the heap in their respective divisions, the options available aren't necessarily the cream of the crop, and in the past it has led to several fighters trying to lobby for a fight against UFC competition.
However, what they all have in common is the fact that they signed with Strikeforce in the first place, and in most cases re-signed when the time came. Because of that, any issues with competition are moot. At least, that's how one former Strikeforce Champ sees things.
In an interview with ESPN.com, former Middleweight Champ Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza - who fights on Showtime this Saturday - said he's not looking to call out any UFC opponents, though he does have one complaint.
"I work for Strikeforce, so I talk about Strikeforce," Souza said. "I can not talk about other events. I signed a paper and I've got to be a man and follow it. For sure I want to fight more often, though."
"I like fighting anybody," Souza said. "It doesn't matter who the guy is or what his record is. I make sure I'm focused and ready to go in there and do my best. I know whoever it is, in this case Derek Brunson, has trained and is ready for this fight. So, I have to be at my best because even though I might be a favorite, anything can happen."
A win over Brunson should bring about a rematch with Luke Rockhold, who defeated Jacare for the title last September. After defeating Tim Kennedy last month, Rockhold said he'd like a rematch against Souza, to leave no questions as to who the better fighter is between them. For his part, Souza's very open to that idea.
"He's a tough guy. He wants to challenge himself and so do I," Souza said. "I understand what he's trying to say. He knows in the back of his head that even though he got the win, he had to hear some people weren't happy with the result."
"I spent a lot of energy in the first round [during the first fight]. I didn't bring in the right strategy. I didn't have a lot of information on him. Now, I have material to study. If I fight him again, I know what the result will be."
Penick's Analysis: Souza's more resigned to his fate than others have been on Strikeforce's roster. They're all stuck until Zuffa decides to end Strikeforce as a fight promotion, and that's something that could happen potentially as early as next year. Whether it actually does happen or not, there isn't anything the fighters can do to better their situations at the moment. For Souza, all he can concentrate on is each fight that he takes. Unfortunately, with so few events taking place for Strikeforce, the roster spots are more limited, and thus there aren't as many opportunities to get in multiple fights a year. That's problematic financially for many, and Souza will have to hope his bout with Rockhold can get booked in quick succession after his fight with Brunson on Saturday night.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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