The following UFC occasion — UFC on Fox 27 — goes down this Saturday (Jan. 27th) and comes with 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 years 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 class the UFC has ever served, it is a captivating contrast in styles, and each 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 combating in Strikeforce.
Jacare Souza combating in Strikeforce. Photo from LowLight (YouTube) [CC Permit ].
This is your traditional battle of styles. Ronaldo Souza (24-5, 17 admissions ) is among the very 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 strong fists.
The first time both of these combatants met was back in 2012 under the old Strikeforce banner, and it was really Souza who managed to place Brunson to sleep with a fast 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 around the planet and has stopped 58-percent of his fights via entry. As he showed in the first matchup, he’s not too shabby in casting leather either. He lands a decent 2.28 significant strikes per minute and has a spectacular accuracy of 44.1-percent.
Souza suffered a catastrophic loss to Robert Whittaker through head kick at his last fight (April 2017), but he’s also won 10 of his last 12 and has never dropped back-to-back fights in his career. A win on Saturday would place Souza’s name back to middleweight title picture, and time is of the essence for the 38-year-old.
In 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 process. Knocking men 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’s won 61-percent of his struggles via KO and has generated knockouts in each of the last six victories. Interestingly, he’s never been filed in his professional career.
The contrasting styles make this a tremendously intriguing fight for MMA purists. Normally, it’s wise to lean towards the high level grappler within the power puncher, but Souza’s age coupled with his last performance suggest a potential Brunson upset. Look 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 elite wrestling to keep the fight standing.
At the moment, Brunson is listed at +135 on MyBookie.ag. It is a fantastic value bet worth getting now.
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