The next UFC occasion — 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 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 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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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, no matter the hype, produces possible gambling 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 from LowLight (YouTube) [CC Permit ].
This is your traditional battle of styles. Ronaldo Souza (24-5, 17 admissions ) is one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners to ever step foot into a UFC Octagon while Derek Brunson (18-5, 10 KOs) loves to put people to sleep with his powerful fists.
The first time both of these combatants met was back in 2012 under the old Strikeforce bannerand it was really Souza who was able to place Brunson to sleep with a fast right hook, just one of three career knockouts for the Brazilian.
Six decades after, Brunson, a former Division II All-American wrestler (and cheerleader!) , has a chance for revenge.
His opponent is one of the most feared grapplers on the planet and has ended 58-percent of his own struggles via entry. As he revealed in the first matchup, he is not too shabby in casting leather . He lands a decent 2.28 significant strikes per minute and has a striking accuracy of 44.1-percent.
Souza suffered a catastrophic loss to Robert Whittaker via head kick in his last fight (April 2017), but he has also won 10 of his final 12 and hasn’t dropped back-to-back fights in his career. A win on Saturday would put Souza’s title back to middleweight title film, 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 rankings in the process. Knocking guys out isn’t anything new for its 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 fights via KO, and it has produced knockouts in each of his past six successes. Interestingly, he’s never been filed in his professional career.
The contrasting styles make this a very intriguing battle for MMA purists. Typically, it is 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 reach advantage (77??? vs 72???) to attempt to finish things early, while using his wrestling to keep the fight standing.
At the moment, Brunson is recorded at +135 on MyBookie.ag. It’s a fantastic value bet worth taking now.
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