‘Jacare’ Souza has five-hour surgery on elbow, out until August

Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza won't be crawling in the Octagon again for another five months or so.

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Ronaldo Souza’s elbow was in pretty bad shape against Francis Carmont last month.

Souza’s joint was swollen and stiff and for the first two months of this three-month training camp he was only able to work out his legs, Souza’s manager Gilberto Faria told UFC Tonight’s Ariel Helwani. Plenty of physical therapy allowed him to not only fight, but also get the decision win against Carmont at UFC Fight Night on Feb. 15.

‘Jacare’ had five-hour-long surgery last week to repair the elbow and he’s targeting a return in August. Ranked fourth among UFC middleweight contenders, Souza is nearing a title shot following Chris Weidman’s defense against Lyoto Machida at UFC 173 in May.

‘Jacare’ is hoping for the winner of a fight between Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy. He’d also be interested in taking on the Luke Rockhold-Tim Boetsch victor. Bisping meets Kennedy in April at the TUF Nations Finale and Rockhold and Boetsch tangle that same month at UFC 172.

‘Jacare’ against Bisping or Kennedy especially could end up being a No. 1 contender bout. Vitor Belfort, who pulled out of the May fight with Weidman, is also out there. It’s just unclear when he’ll return. The UFC decided to withdraw Belfort following the Nevada Athletic Commission’s decision to ban TRT, which Belfort has been using for three years. Belfort will need time to adjust to training without the injections.