The bout, which will take place on January 27th, will mark the first time Souza has fought since last July, when he was stopped by Robert Whittaker. It was only the second time Souza had been defeated in nine UFC tilts, as in 2015, he dropped a razor thin, split decision to Yoel Romero.
Well, recently Souza spoke with MMA Fighting, and the Brazilian star revealed that he was dealing with a pectoral rupture, for both the Whittaker fight, and his scrap last February with Tim Boetsch. Following the loss to Whittaker, Souza had surgery two weeks later, and it doesn’t sound like things went well.
“I thought about stop fighting because it was a long surgery,” Souza said. “When I came back to training, seven months later, my trainer asked me to run for 10 minutes, and I called him back, ‘Brother, I can’t even run for five minutes, it hurts so bad and I’m tired’ [laughs]. It was complicated for me to return.”
”I was thinking about retirement. It was really hard,” he continued. “I thought about it for a while, it was too complicated. I had to undergo surgery many times. I had never suffered any injury throughout my career, was always healthy, and all of a sudden I had a lot of injuries. I said, ‘Man, I don’t want to go to the surgery table and go through all this again.'”
Thankfully Souza recovered and he changed his mind. He’s also reportedly relocated from the X-Gym in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Fusion X-cel Performance in Orlando. So, it will be interesting to see how the 38 year-old looks against Brunson.
The two fought way back in 2012, under the Strikeforce banner, and Souza knocked Brunson out in just 41 seconds. While discussing the upcoming rematch, Souza warned Brunzon not to come running in with his “chin high”.
Brunson, meanwhile, is coming off back-to-back KO wins over Dan Kelly and Lyoto Machida. So, if he can avenge his loss to Souza, he’ll be right back in the title shot mix.