Former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza gladly stepped in for Luke Rockhold when asked to face Lorenz Larkin.

The two middleweights will meet in January at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine. Rockhold, the current champion, was forced out after his injured wrist did not completely heal.

“I liked the choice,” said Souza, in an interview with Tatame. “Larkin will be a big challenge for me. I was even more excited for this fight knowing that he would be my opponent.”

Many felt that Souza (16-3) would receive a rematch with Rockhold, but the honor went two Larkin instead. Nevertheless, the opportunity to secure another victory has Souza preparing for an all-out war.

“I want to win this fight any way (I can), but if it is with a submission, (it) will have a special taste,” Souza said. “I’m ready to fight, and only after that will I think about my future.”

Photo credit: Showtime