The next UFC occasion — UFC on Fox 27 — goes down this Saturday (Jan. 27th) and features a main-event tilt between Ronaldo”Jacare” Souza and Derek Brunson. This is actually the second time both of these middleweights will face off, with Souza winning through knockout in their first go around in 2012. But time is a funny thing, and six years later, it is Brunson riding the wave of momentum while Souza regroups after a devastating loss that cost him a shot at the UFC middleweight title.
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Even though this isn’t the tastiest main course the UFC has ever served, it’s a captivating contrast in styles, and every MMA event, no matter the hype, produces potential betting opportunities. Where’s the wise money going for Souza vs Brunson 2?
Stay tuned for a more comprehensive look at the card in Best Bets for UFC on Fox 27 this Thursday.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (-160) vs. Derek Brunson (+135)
Jacare Souza fighting in Strikeforce.
Jacare Souza fighting in Strikeforce. Photo from LowLight (YouTube) [CC Permit ].
This is your traditional battle of fashions. Ronaldo Souza (24-5, 17 admissions ) is one of the very best jiu-jitsu professionals to step foot into a UFC Octagon while Derek Brunson (18-5, 10 KOs) loves to put people to sleep with his strong fists.
Initially these two combatants met was back in 2012 under the old Strikeforce bannerand it was actually Souza who managed to place Brunson to sleep with a quick right hook, one of three career knockouts for the Brazilian.
Six decades later, Brunson, a former Division II All-American wrestler (and cheerleader!) , has a chance for revenge.
His opponent is one of the most feared grapplers around the planet, and it has stopped 58-percent of his fights via submission. As he revealed in the first matchup, he is not too shabby at throwing leather . He lands a decent 2.28 significant strikes every minute and has a striking accuracy of 44.1-percent.
Souza suffered a catastrophic loss to Robert Whittaker via head kick in his final fight (April 2017), but he has also won 10 of his last 12 and has never lost back-to-back conflicts in his career. A win on Saturday would place Souza’s name back into middleweight title picture, and time is of the essence for its 38-year-old.
At 34, Derek Brunson’s own career clock is getting late. He rebounded from back-to-back losses to Whittaker and Anderson Silva with KO wins over Dan Kelly (June 2017) and Lyoto Machida (October 2017), rising up the middleweight rankings in the procedure. Knocking men out is not something new to its hard-hitting middleweight, who averages 3.2 significant strikes per minute using a striking accuracy of 32.1-percent. He’s won 61-percent of his fights via KO and has generated knockouts in each of his past six victories. Interestingly, he’s never been submitted in his career.
The contrasting styles make this a tremendously interesting fight for MMA purists. Normally, it is smart to lean towards the high level grappler over the power puncher, but Souza’s age combined with his very last performance suggest a possible Brunson upset. Look for the American to use his speed, power, and five-inch achieve advantage (77??? vs 72???) to attempt to finish things early, while utilizing his wrestling to keep the fight standing.
At the moment, Brunson is listed at +135 on MyBookie.ag. It’s a fantastic value bet worth getting now.
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