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UFC Ft. Lauderdale’s Jacare Souza fears Jack Hermansson’s jiu-jitsu: ‘He has great submissions’

Jacare Souza has praised his UFC Ft. Lauderdale opponent Jack Hermansson’s ground game.

Jacare Souza may be one of the best grapplers the UFC has ever seen, but that doesn’t mean is he taking his opponent Jack Hermansson’s ground game lightly this weekend when they fight at UFC Fort Lauderdale.

Souza (26-6, 1NC) was supposed to face Yoel Romero in a rematch this weekend, but when pneumonia forced the Cuban out of the fight Hermansson was quick to step in. Jacare recently told MMA Fighting that he accepted the fight with the Swede as the UFC promised him a shot at the middleweight title if he is to win.

”It was really stressing for me,” Souza said about the lead-up to the fight. “I didn’t like what happened, at all, but accepted the fight. When they promised me a title shot, that’s what made me accept it. That’s it.”

“They really wanted this fight, they insisted a lot. It was a negotiation and we accepted it. I talked to everyone. I talked to Mick Maynard, who talked to Dana White and Hunter (Campbell), everyone there. Everyone in the UFC promised me the belt if I won, and that’s something no one ever did to me before.”

Hermansson, who is on a three-fight win streak, became a top contender at 185-pounds with his most recent win over David Branch. “The Joker” has now picked up consecutive submission wins in the UFC, which has tempted the Swede to engage with Jacare on the mat in the fight to prove who has the better ground game.

”I believe him. I do believe him. There’s a lot of crazy people out there,” Souza said. “But I fear his jiu-jitsu. I respect his jiu-jitsu. He has great submissions, he’s long and can surprise anyone. However, brother, going to the ground with me is complicated. When I start squeezing … good luck. I’m there to finish the fight, and I don’t think he can handle it.

”I’m putting my career at risk,” Souza said. “I’ve been fighting in the UFC for six years and I’m fighting the No. 10 in the division, but I’ll go there and beat him up. There’s no other option.”

UFC on ESPN 3 takes place this Saturday, April 27th, at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Souza vs. Hermansson will headline the card.

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