Francis Carmont will definitely get the biggest test of his UFC career when he squares off against fellow top-10 middleweight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. The fight will be the co-main event at Fight Night 36 on February 15 in Brazil. The card will be headlined by another key middleweight encounter between Lyoto Machida and Gegard Mousasi. The event was originally scheduled for February 8 but has now been pushed back by a week.
Carmont is unbeaten in six fights inside the Octagon and most recently turned in a dominant performance in taking a unanimous decision victory at UFC 165 against Costa Philippou. His style is not the most fan-friendly as he used his dominating grappling skills to completely negate Philippou’s offense by taking him to the canvas in all three rounds.
As for Souza, he’s coming off a devastating first-round knockout of Yushin Okami that literally knocked the one-time middleweight title challenger right out of the promotion. Okami was given his walking papers by the UFC after that setback.
Souza has shown an improving striking game that was fully evident against “Thunder” and has a tremendous submission game. He showed that in his UFC debut against Chris Camozzi. The former Strikeforce champion has won five straight fights since losing to Luke Rockhold. His strength will be a big test for Carmont to deal with. Souza is currently the no. 3-ranked middleweight and would definitely put himself into the title picture if he records another impressive victory.
Carmont is still in a situation where he’s trying to establish himself as a major player within the division. It’ll be intriguing to see if his grappling skills will be effective against Souza, or if he will be forced into more of a stand-up contest than he would like.
Carmont vaulted into the top-10 rankings thanks to his latest victory. If he’s able to register a victory over the impressive Souza, the talented Frenchman and training partner of welterweight champion Georges St.Pierre will definitely have shown that he’s worthy of being mentioned as a title contender.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports