Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza stormed onto the MMA scene in September 2003 with some of the best submission skills the sport had ever seen.
Now, 10 years and 23 fights later, "Jacare" has added serious one-punch knockout power to the weapons in his war chest.
Based on a media conference in his native Brazil on Tuesday, the highly-regarded Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt believes he now has what it takes to take out current UFC middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman, per MMA Fighting.
I have the perfect style to beat anyone, including Chris Weidman. Many people don’t believe in my potential yet, but that’s how I like it. I still have much to prove, I’ve fought only twice in the UFC, but I can guarantee you that I’m ready for any challenge to prove I have what it takes to get the title."
Souza likened his upcoming bout with Francis Carmont at UFC Fight Night 36 in February, which also features Lyoto Machida vs. Gegard Mousasi, to a "grand prix" type of tournament to determine the next challenger at 185 pounds.
The 34-year-old was torn on who would win between Machida vs. Mousasi, but clearly stated "I'll be waiting for the winner."
After 2013 comes to a close, it may not matter how Souza matches up with Weidman.
"The All-American" defends his strap against former divisional kingpin Anderson Silva at UFC 168, set for December 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
While Silva suffered the first brutal knockout of his career at UFC 162 this July, many pundits are expecting a much more competitive showdown inside the cage this time around.
Meanwhile, Souza has been on a tear since losing the Strikeforce belt to Luke Rockhold, scoring five-straight stoppage victories since March 2012.
Arguably, his biggest victory to date came at UFC Fight Night 28 in September, scoring a vicious TKO over former title challenger Yushin Okami.
Does Souza have the look of a future champion at this point in his career or has the well-rounded fighter reached his ceiling in terms of the level of competition he can beat in the UFC?
John Heinis is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA Editor for eDraft.com.