Forget Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman's most dangerous opponent is 'Jacare' Souza

Esther Lin/Strikeforce

He can punch, grapple and last five rounds. Is "Jacare" Souza the most dangerous man at 185 pounds?

If Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman thinks he's in the clear with a second straight win over former division titleholder Anderson Silva, he better think again.

Because a "Spider" is not as "dangerous" as an alligator.

That's according to longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) coach Mario Sperry, who told that Weidman would be unable to rely on his wrestling, widely considered his best weapon, in a showdown against Ronaldo Souza, who is one of the most decorated submission grapplers to ever step foot inside the cage.

His words:

"Comparisons are complicated, but I think their styles match. What does Weidman do best? Takedowns. What Jacare do best? Jiu - jitsu. So that's why I think Jacare would be more complicated. Against Jacare, Weidman would be insecure, unsure if the fight would unfold standing or on the ground. Against Anderson, he can expect to fight standing. And this unpredictability makes, for me, Jacare more dangerous for Weidman. Also, I´m really impressed the way Jacaré is developing his MMA game. I see him training here every day. His ground game is amazing. He has dangerous weapons standing up, his cardio is absolutely impressive and his heart is scary. I see him with all the tools to be a champion."

Scary indeed.

Souza (19-3) is riding a five-fight winning streak, one highlighted by four straight first-round finishes, including a blistering technical knockout victory over the venerable Yushin Okami earlier this month in Brazil (replay). In short, "Jacare" doesn't need to rely solely on his ground game.

But neither does Weidman.

"All American" was able to defeat Silva back in July using his fists, something he intends to prove was not a fluke in their UFC 168 rematch on Dec. 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada (details). If he prevails in their second championship showdown, Weidman will be looking for the next top contender.

And assuming this doesn't happen (or this), he may have already found one.

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