The next UFC event — 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. However, time is a funny thing, and six decades later, it is Brunson riding the wave of momentum while Souza regroups after a catastrophic loss that cost him a shot at the UFC middleweight title.
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While this isn’t the tastiest primary class the UFC has ever served, it is a captivating contrast in styles, and every MMA event, no matter the hype, creates potential betting opportunities. Where’s the wise money going for Souza vs Brunson 2?
Stay tuned for a more comprehensive look at the card at Best Bets for UFC on Fox 27 this Thursday.
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (-160) vs. Derek Brunson (+135)
Jacare Souza fighting in Strikeforce.
Jacare Souza. Photo by LowLight (YouTube) [CC Permit ].
This is your traditional battle of styles. Ronaldo Souza (24-5, 17 admissions ) is among the best jiu-jitsu practitioners to step foot into a UFC Octagon while Derek Brunson (18-5, 10 KOs) loves to put people to sleep with his powerful fists.
Initially both of these combatants met was back in 2012 under the old Strikeforce bannerand it was really Souza who was able to put Brunson to sleep with a quick hook, one of three career knockouts for the Brazilian.
Six years after, Brunson, a former Division II All-American wrestler (and cheerleader!) , has a chance for revenge.
His opponent is among the most feared grapplers around the planet and has ended 58-percent of his struggles via entry. As he showed in the first matchup, he’s not too shabby in casting leather . He lands a decent 2.28 significant strikes per minute and has a spectacular accuracy of 44.1-percent.
Souza suffered a devastating loss to Robert Whittaker via head kick in his final struggle (April 2017), but he has also won 10 of his last 12 and hasn’t lost back-to-back fights in his career. A win on Saturday would put Souza’s title back to middleweight title picture, and time is of the essence for the 38-year-old.
At 34, Derek Brunson’s own career clock is now 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 positions in the procedure. Knocking guys out is not anything new for its hard-hitting middleweight, who averages 3.2 significant strikes per minute using a striking accuracy of 32.1-percent. He has won 61-percent of his own fights via KO and has generated knockouts in each of the last six successes. Interestingly, he’s never been filed in his professional career.
The contrasting styles make this a very intriguing fight for MMA purists. Typically, it is smart to lean towards the high-level grappler within the energy puncher, but Souza’s age combined with his last performance suggest a possible Brunson upset. Look for the American to use his speed, power, and five-inch reach advantage (77??? vs 72???) to attempt to finish things early, while using his elite wrestling to keep the fight standing.
At the moment, Brunson is recorded at +135 on MyBookie.ag. It is a fantastic value bet worth getting now.