|Born||Ronaldo Souza dos Santos|
December 7, 1979
Vila Velha, Espírito Santo, Brazil
|Other names||Jacaré (Alligator)|
|Residence||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)|
|Division||Light Heavyweight (2019) |
|Reach||72 in (183 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil|
|Team||Fusion X-Cel Performance|
|Rank||4th degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Henrique Machado |
Black belt in Judo under Henrique Machado
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
last updated on: May 20, 2010
|ADCC World Championship|
|2003 Sao Paulo||-88kg|
|2005 Long Beach||Absolute|
|2005 Long Beach||-88kg|
|World Jiu-Jitsu Championship|
|2001 Rio de Janeiro||Absolute|
|2001 Rio de Janeiro||-82kg|
|2002 Rio de Janeiro||Absolute|
|2002 Rio de Janeiro||-88kg|
|2003 Rio de Janeiro||Absolute|
|2003 Rio de Janeiro||-88kg|
|2004 Rio de Janeiro||Absolute|
|2004 Rio de Janeiro||-88kg|
|2005 Rio de Janeiro||Absolute|
|2005 Rio de Janeiro||-88kg|
Ronaldo Souza dos Santos (born December 7, 1979), nicknamed Jacaré (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʒakaˈɾɛ]), is a retired Brazilian mixed martial artist and submission grappler, who competed for UFC. A highly regarded grappler on the world stage, Souza is also the former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion, and has also formerly competed for DREAM, and Jungle Fight.
Souza was born in Vila Velha, Brazil, into a cafuzo family and was raised in Cariacica, Brazil. Souza had a rough upbringing, and on the day he turned 15, he saw one of his good friends get shot to death. After this event, Souza's mother moved him to Manaus to go and live with his brother and he started training in Judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu when he was 17. He is an eight-time World Jiu-Jitsu Champion, including gold medals in the Openweight class in 2003, 2004 and 2005. His other credentials include the 2005 77–87 kg ADCC Champion and the 2005 ADCC Absolute Division runner-up, only losing to Roger Gracie who outweighed him by approximately 25 lbs. Along with Roger Gracie and Marcelo Garcia, Souza is widely considered to be among the greatest BJJ practitioners of his time.
Mixed martial arts career
Souza made his mixed martial arts debut on September 9, 2003 at Jungle Fight's inaugural event where he lost to Jorge "Macaco" Patino by KO at 3:13 into the first round. He returned to mixed martial arts eight months later at Jungle Fight 2 securing a submission win over Victor Babkir under a minute into the first round. His next fight was in April 2006 at Jungle Fight 6 where he got his second win, defeating Alexander Shlemenko by an arm triangle choke submission. He went on to fight twice before the end of 2006, winning both fights by submission during the first round.
In 2006, Souza fought and drew with UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture in a grappling contest. After the match Souza was invited by Couture to train at his gym. Souza accepted and started training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. Souza's first fight of 2007 was on May 19 with him scoring a submission win due to strikes over veteran Bill Vucick at Gracie Fighting Championships: Evolution. He would next fight twice within a two-week period on September 29 and October 13, scoring two submission wins both within the first round.
In 2008, Souza signed with Japanese MMA-promotion DREAM and was scheduled to participate in the 2008 DREAM Middleweight Grand-Prix. In the first round of the tournament, at DREAM 2 on April 29, 2008, he defeated Ian Murphy by a rear-naked choke submission in the first round. This secured him a place in the quarter-finals which took place at DREAM 4 on June 15 where he fought former ICON Sport Middleweight Champion Jason "Mayhem" Miller. The fight went the distance with Souza continuously going for submissions with Miller escaping multiple rear-naked choke, leglock and armbar-attempts while mounting his own offense on the feet. Souza was awarded a unanimous decision victory which secured him a place in the semi-final of the Middleweight Grand-Prix.
In the semi-finals which took place at DREAM 6 on September 23, Souza defeated Zelg Galesic early in the first round by armbar submission. The victory earned him a place in the finals of the tournament and a shot at the DREAM Middleweight Championship against Gegard Mousasi that same night. In the fight Souza was knocked out early in the first round by an upkick as he attempted to dive past Mousasi's guard to land a strike of his own. After participating in the tournament, Souza left Xtreme Couture and went to San Diego to train with Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, before leaving to train with Anderson Silva and André Galvão in preparation for Silva's upcoming bout with Thales Leites at UFC 97 at Black House.
Souza fought in the DREAM Middleweight Championship in a rematch with Jason Miller at DREAM 9 after Gegard Mousasi vacated the title when moving up to Light Heavyweight. The fight was called a no contest due to an illegal kick to the head that opened up a gash on Souza's head.
Souza made his Strikeforce debut on December 19, 2009 at Strikeforce: Evolution with a first-round submission win over Matt Lindland, via arm-triangle choke. In this fight, Souza showed a major improvement in his stand up game and striking. Souza faced Joey Villaseñor on May 15, 2010 at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery. He won the fight via unanimous decision, dominating the first round, being very aggressive, achieving the mount position and almost achieving the submission, but slowed down on the 2nd and 3rd round.
Souza fought Tim Kennedy on August 21, 2010 at Strikeforce: Houston for the vacant Strikeforce Middleweight Championship, and won via unanimous decision. Souza then defended the belt for the first time against Robbie Lawler, on January 29, 2011 at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg.
On August 18, 2012, Souza faced Derek Brunson in his seventh Strikeforce appearance. Souza dropped Brunson early with a counter right hand which planted Brunson on the mat and landed three ground strikes, knocking out Brunson in just 41 seconds.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Souza signed a five-fight deal with the UFC in January 2013.
Souza was expected to make his promotional debut against Costas Philippou on May 18, 2013, at UFC on FX 8. Philippou pulled out of the bout in early May, citing a cut above his eye, and was replaced by Chris Camozzi. Souza arm-triangle choked Camozzi unconscious in the first round.
Souza beat Francis Carmont by unanimous decision (29–28, 29–28, and 30–27) on February 15, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 36. After, he said he was injured during his training camp and would require a minimum of six weeks for recovery.
Souza was expected to rematch Gegard Mousasi on August 2, 2014 at UFC 176. When the event was cancelled, the bout was rescheduled for September 5, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 50. Souza won via submission in the third round, earning his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
Souza was expected to face Yoel Romero on February 28, 2015 at UFC 184. Souza pulled out of the fight on January 15, due to pneumonia. The bout was rescheduled for April 18, 2015 at UFC on Fox 15. Romero pulled out of the fight a week before the event, citing a ligament and meniscus tear in his knee. Souza instead rematched returning veteran Chris Camozzi, submitting him with a first-round armbar.
The bout with Romero was scheduled for a third time, eventually taking place on December 12, 2015 at UFC 194. Souza lost the bout via split decision. 12 of 17 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Souza, and 3 of 17 scored it a draw.
Souza was expected to face Luke Rockhold in a rematch on November 27, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 101. However the pairing was cancelled on 1 November after Rockhold was ruled out of the contest after sustaining an undisclosed injury. As a result, Souza was removed from the card as well.
A rematch with Derek Brunson took place on January 27, 2018 in the main event at UFC on Fox 27. Souza won the fight via TKO in the first round. This win earned him the Performance of the Night bonus.
Souza was expected to face David Branch on November 3, 2018 at UFC 230. However on October 19, 2018 It was reported that Souza replaced injured Luke Rockhold to face Chris Weidman in the event. He won the fight via knockout in the third round. Both fighters earned Fight of the Night honors.
Souza was scheduled to face Yoel Romero on April 27, 2019 at UFC Fight Night 150. However, it was reported in early April that Romero pulled out of the bout due to illness. Souza remained on the card and faced Jack Hermansson in the main event at UFC Fight Night: Jacaré vs. Hermansson. He lost the fight by unanimous decision.
Souza was scheduled to face Uriah Hall for a middleweight bout on April 18, 2020 at UFC 249. However, on April 9, Dana White, the president of UFC announced that this event was postponed and the bout and event were rescheduled for May 9, 2020. On May 8, Souza had to withdraw from the fight after testing positive for COVID-19.
Souza was expected to face Marvin Vettori on December 12, 2020 at UFC 256. However, the bout was scrapped when it was revealed Vettori would be serving as a late replacement to face Jack Hermansson at UFC on ESPN 19 and Souza instead faced Kevin Holland. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round. 
Souza faced André Muniz on May 15, 2021 at UFC 262. He lost the fight via technical submission in the first round after his arm snapped while trapped in an armbar. Souza underwent surgery to repair his right humerus. The bout was the last of his prevailing contract, making him a free agent after the organization did not re-sign Souza.
Souza and his wife, Larissa Carvalho, have three children.
On October 8th, 2020, Souza revealed the plans to start his own BJJ Academy in Orlando, Florida.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Strikeforce Middleweight Championship (One time)
- One successful title defense
- 2008 DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix Runner-up
- 2014 All-Violence Third Team
- ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship:
- ADCC 2011 Superfight Runner-up (against Braulio Estima)
- ADCC 2009 Superfight Champion (against Robert Drysdale)
- ADCC 2005 77 – 87 kg: 1st Place
- ADCC 2005 Openweight: 2nd Place
- ADCC 2003 77 – 87 kg: 2nd Place
- ADCC 2003 Brazilian Qualifiers 77 – 87 kg: 1st Place
- CBJJ World Championships:
- 2005 Black Belt Medium Heavy: 1st Place
- 2005 Black Belt Open Weight: 1st Place
- 2004 Black Belt Medium Heavy: 2nd Place
- 2004 Black Belt Open Weight: 1st Place
- 2003 Brown Belt Medium Heavy: 1st Place
- 2003 Brown Belt Open Weight: 1st Place
- 2002 Brown Belt Medium Heavy: 1st Place
- 2002 Brown Belt Open Weight: 2nd Place
- 2001 Purple Belt Middle: 1st Place
- 2001 Purple Belt Open Weight: 1st Place
- CBJJ Pan American Championships:
- 2004 Black Belt Medium Heavy: 1st Place
- 2004 Black Belt Open Weight: 1st Place
- CBJJ European Championships:
- 2005 Black Belt Medium Heavy: 1st Place
- 2005 Black Belt Open Weight: 2nd Place
- CBJJ Brazilian Championships:
- 2004 Brown Belt Medium Heavy: 1st Place
- BJJ World Cup:
- 2005 Black belt: 2nd place
- 2004 Black belt: 1st place
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|37 matches||26 wins||10 losses|
|Loss||26–10 (1)||André Muniz||Technical Submission (armbar)||UFC 262||May 15, 2021||1||3:59||Houston, Texas, United States|
|Loss||26–9 (1)||Kevin Holland||KO (punches)||UFC 256||December 12, 2020||1||1:45||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Return to Middleweight.|
|Loss||26–8 (1)||Jan Błachowicz||Decision (split)||UFC Fight Night: Błachowicz vs. Jacaré||November 16, 2019||5||5:00||São Paulo, Brazil||Light Heavyweight debut.|
|Loss||26–7 (1)||Jack Hermansson||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Jacaré vs. Hermansson||April 27, 2019||5||5:00||Sunrise, Florida, United States|
|Win||26–6 (1)||Chris Weidman||KO (punches)||UFC 230||November 3, 2018||3||2:46||New York City, New York, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Loss||25–6 (1)||Kelvin Gastelum||Decision (split)||UFC 224||May 12, 2018||3||5:00||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||25–5 (1)||Derek Brunson||KO (head kick and punches)||UFC on Fox: Jacaré vs. Brunson 2||January 27, 2018||1||3:50||Charlotte, North Carolina, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Loss||24–5 (1)||Robert Whittaker||TKO (head kick and punches)||UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Reis||April 15, 2017||2||3:28||Kansas City, Missouri, United States|
|Win||24–4 (1)||Tim Boetsch||Submission (kimura)||UFC 208||February 11, 2017||1||3:41||Brooklyn, New York, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||23–4 (1)||Vitor Belfort||TKO (punches)||UFC 198||May 14, 2016||1||4:38||Curitiba, Brazil||Performance of the Night.|
|Loss||22–4 (1)||Yoel Romero||Decision (split)||UFC 194||December 12, 2015||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||22–3 (1)||Chris Camozzi||Submission (armbar)||UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold||April 18, 2015||1||2:33||Newark, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||21–3 (1)||Gegard Mousasi||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC Fight Night: Jacare vs. Mousasi||September 5, 2014||3||4:30||Mashantucket, Connecticut, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||20–3 (1)||Francis Carmont||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi||February 15, 2014||3||5:00||Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil|
|Win||19–3 (1)||Yushin Okami||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Bader||September 4, 2013||1||2:47||Belo Horizonte, Brazil|
|Win||18–3 (1)||Chris Camozzi||Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke)||UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Rockhold||May 18, 2013||1||3:37||Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil||Submission of the Night.|
|Win||17–3 (1)||Ed Herman||Submission (kimura)||Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine||January 12, 2013||1||3:10||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States||Catchweight (194 lb) bout.|
|Win||16–3 (1)||Derek Brunson||KO (punches)||Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman||August 18, 2012||1||0:41||San Diego, California, United States|
|Win||15–3 (1)||Bristol Marunde||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey||March 3, 2012||3||2:43||Columbus, Ohio, United States|
|Loss||14–3 (1)||Luke Rockhold||Decision (unanimous)||Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov||September 10, 2011||5||5:00||Cincinnati, Ohio, United States||Lost the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.|
|Win||14–2 (1)||Robbie Lawler||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg||January 29, 2011||3||2:00||San Jose, California, United States||Defended the Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.|
|Win||13–2 (1)||Tim Kennedy||Decision (unanimous)||Strikeforce: Houston||August 21, 2010||5||5:00||Houston, Texas, United States||Won the vacant Strikeforce Middleweight Championship.|
|Win||12–2 (1)||Joey Villaseñor||Decision (unanimous)||Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery||May 15, 2010||3||5:00||St. Louis, Missouri, United States|
|Win||11–2 (1)||Matt Lindland||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Strikeforce: Evolution||December 19, 2009||1||4:18||San Jose, California, United States|
|NC||10–2 (1)||Jason Miller||NC (cut)||DREAM 9||May 26, 2009||1||2:33||Yokohama, Japan||For the vacant DREAM Middleweight Championship.|
|Loss||10–2||Gegard Mousasi||KO (upkick)||Dream 6: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round||September 23, 2008||1||2:15||Saitama, Japan||For the vacant DREAM Middleweight Championship.|
|Win||10–1||Zelg Galešić||Submission (armbar)||Dream 6: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round||September 23, 2008||1||1:27||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||9–1||Jason Miller||Decision (unanimous)||Dream 4: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Second Round||June 15, 2008||2||5:00||Yokohama, Japan|
|Win||8–1||Ian Murphy||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Dream 2: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 First Round||April 29, 2008||1||3:37||Saitama, Japan|
|Win||7–1||Wendell Santos||TKO (submission to punches)||Hero's The Jungle||October 13, 2007||1||1:40||Manaus, Brazil|
|Win||6–1||José de Ribamar||Submission (armbar)||Amazon Challenge||September 29, 2007||1||3:28||Manaus, Brazil|
|Win||5–1||Bill Vucick||TKO (submission to punches)||Gracie Fighting Championships: Evolution||May 19, 2007||1||3:01||Columbus, Ohio, United States|
|Win||4–1||Haim Gozali||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Jungle Fight Europe||December 17, 2006||1||1:34||Ljubljana, Slovenia|
|Win||3–1||Alexey Prokofiev||Submission (triangle choke)||Fury Fighting Championship 1||September 27, 2006||1||2:30||São Paulo, Brazil|
|Win||2–1||Alexander Shlemenko||Technical Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Jungle Fight 6||April 29, 2006||1||2:10||Manaus, Brazil|
|Win||1–1||Victor Babkir||TKO (submission to punches)||Jungle Fight 2||May 15, 2004||1||0:56||Manaus, Brazil|
|Loss||0–1||Jorge Patino||KO (punch)||Jungle Fight 1||September 13, 2003||1||3:13||Manaus, Brazil|
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