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 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 is Brunson riding the wave of momentum while Souza regroups after a devastating loss that cost him a shot in the UFC middleweight title.
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While this isn’t the tastiest main class the UFC has served, it’s a captivating contrast in styles, and every MMA event, no matter the hype, creates possible betting opportunities. Where is the wise money going for Souza vs Brunson 2?
Stay tuned for a broader 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 styles. Ronaldo Souza (24-5, 17 admissions ) is among the very best jiu-jitsu professionals to ever step foot into a UFC Octagon while Derek Brunson (18-5, 10 KOs) loves to put people to sleep with his strong fists.
Initially both of these combatants met was back in 2012 under the aged Strikeforce bannerand it was really Souza who managed to put Brunson to sleep with a quick right hook, one of three career knockouts for the Brazilian.
Six years later, Brunson, a former Division II All-American wrestler (and cheerleader!) , has a chance for revenge.
His opponent is among the most feared grapplers on the planet and has ended 58-percent of his own struggles via entry. As he showed 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 has also won 10 of his last 12 and has never lost back-to-back fights in his career. A win on Saturday would place Souza’s name back into 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 men out isn’t something new to 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 his past six victories. Interestingly, he has never been submitted in his career.
The contrasting styles make this a tremendously intriguing fight for MMA purists. Typically, it’s smart to lean towards the high-level grappler over the power puncher, but Souza’s age combined with his last performance suggest a possible Brunson upset. Search for the American to use his speed, power, and five-inch reach advantage (77??? vs 72???) to attempt to finish things early, while utilizing his wrestling to keep the fight standing.
Right now, Brunson is recorded at +135 on MyBookie.ag. It’s a good value bet worth taking now.
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