Long before he was arguably the UFC’s top middleweight title contender, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza was one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu and submission wrestling champions on the planet. The black belt’s coming-out party was probably his 2004 Mundial open-weight tournament final against fellow legend Roger Gracie (above).
Late in the match, Gracie locked Souza’s arm out from his back and snapped it. Still, "Jacare" did not submit and "tap out."
The arm broke, and he escaped, tucked his limp arm away and fought on. Souza was ahead on points and by surviving the lock and the following minute or so, "Jacare" secured another world title and turned himself into a sensation.
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It was also the match that helped him decide to transition into MMA. On Saturday, Souza takes on Vitor Belfort at UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil.
The fight could go either way, but win or lose, this old jiu-jitsu championship match reminds us that Souza isn’t likely to give up. Like, ever.