Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza will drop back down to middleweight with a compelling matchup waiting for him.
Souza and Uriah Hall have verbally agreed to a 185-pound fight at UFC 249 on April 18 in Brooklyn, multiple sources told ESPN on Tuesday. The bout has not yet been officially announced by the UFC. Souza fought at light heavyweight in his last bout, falling to Jan Blachowicz by split decision in November at UFC Sao Paulo.
Souza (26-8, 1 NC), a former Strikeforce middleweight champion, has lost four of his last six bouts, but all have come against highly ranked middleweights and Blachowicz, a top light heavyweight. The popular Brazilian star does own finishes of former champion Chris Weidman and Derek Brunson in that time. Souza, 40, is still ranked No. 9 among middleweights in the world by ESPN.
Hall (15-9) has won two straight, most recently a split decision win over Antonio Carlos Junior at UFC Vancouver in September. The New York native has won three of four overall, with the lone loss coming to top middleweight contender Paulo Costa.
Hall, 35, was once considered a can't-miss prospect coming out of The Ultimate Fighter in 2013 and now seems to be putting it all together since moving to Fortis MMA in Dallas. A victory over Souza, a perennial UFC contender and former Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion, and would be the biggest of his career.