After a commanding TKO victory over Yushin Okami last night, middleweight Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza told the post-fight presser he would fight anyone in the 185- or 205-pound divisions, except for teammate Anderson Silva. Sort of:

“Anderson is someone I don’t want to fight,” Souza said. “He’s someone who’s in my camp. He’s my friend. He helps me, and I help him. So I wouldn’t be a good character if I said I wanted to fight him.”

Do you hear that faraway rumble? Maybe it’s a train or a herd of buffalo. No, wait—it’s the word “but”:

“But,” Souza added, “I’m a UFC fighter, and I hope the UFC never gives us this fight, but I’m ready to face anyone in the world in my weight class and also at 205.”

It was two buts! He made his desire not to fight Anderson Silva clear, but it wasn’t exactly an adamant refusal. Souza went on to emphasize his happiness with the UFC and his willingness to take whatever fight Joe Silva might give him, calling himself “an employee who loves to work.” Please don’t make me fight my friend, Jacare seemed to say, but okay.

And high up in his mountain castle, Dana White began to laugh. Until the UFC gets more openly gay fighters/TV deals with remote islands, he can’t make two people who truly love each other fight to the death. Jacare and Silva, who train together in Brazil, might be the next best thing.

Jacare’s remarks certainly left room for that possibility. Specifically asking to fight the greatest middleweight of all time might not make Souza “a good character,” as the somewhat wobbly translation put it, but going along with a UFC that insisted would cement him as the good employee he says he is.

If only Chael Sonnen were available. That would be an exciting fight, but unfortunately the gangster from West Linn has other plans. Probably Jacare should just fight his friend in Vegas while we scream and throw beer on them.