The following UFC event — UFC on Fox 27 — goes down this Saturday (Jan. 27th) and features a main-event tip between Ronaldo”Jacare” Souza and Derek Brunson. This is actually the second time these two 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’s 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 is a captivating contrast in styles, and every MMA event, whatever the hype, creates possible 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 combating in Strikeforce.
Jacare Souza fighting in Strikeforce. Photo by LowLight (YouTube) [CC License].
This is your classic battle of styles. Ronaldo Souza (24-5, 17 admissions ) is among 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 powerful fists.
Initially these two combatants met was back in 2012 under the aged Strikeforce banner, and it was actually Souza who managed to put Brunson to sleep with a fast right hook, one of three career knockouts for the Brazilian.
Six years after, Brunson, a former Division II All-American wrestler (and cheerleader!) , has an opportunity for revenge.
His opponent is one of the most feared grapplers on the planet, and it has stopped 58-percent of his own struggles via entry. As he revealed in the first matchup, he’s not too shabby at throwing leather either. 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 last fight (April 2017), but he’s also won 10 of his final 12 and has never lost back-to-back conflicts in his career. A win on Saturday would put Souza’s name back to middleweight title film, and time is of the essence for its 38-year-old.
In 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), increasing up the middleweight positions in the procedure. Knocking guys out isn’t anything new for the hard-hitting middleweight, who averages 3.2 significant strikes per minute with a striking accuracy of 32.1-percent. He has won 61-percent of his own fights via KO, and it has generated knockouts in each of the past six successes. Interestingly, he has never been submitted in his career.
The contrasting styles make this a tremendously interesting fight for MMA purists. Normally, it is wise to lean towards the high-level grappler over the energy puncher, but Souza’s age combined with his very last performance suggest a potential Brunson upset. Search for the American to utilize his speed, power, and five-inch achieve advantage (77??? vs 72???) to try to finish things early, while utilizing his wrestling to keep the fight standing.
At the moment, Brunson is recorded at +135 on MyBookie.ag. It’s a good value bet worth getting now.
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