The next UFC occasion — UFC on Fox 27 — goes down this Saturday (Jan. 27th) and comes with 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 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 course the UFC has ever served, it is a captivating contrast in styles, and every MMA event, whatever the hype, produces possible gambling opportunities. Where is the wise money going for Souza vs Brunson 2?
Stay tuned for a broader 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 combating in Strikeforce. Photo by LowLight (YouTube) [CC Permit ].
This is your classic battle of styles. Ronaldo Souza (24-5, 17 submissions) is among the 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 powerful fists.
The first time both of these combatants met was back in 2012 under the aged Strikeforce bannerand it was actually Souza who was able to place Brunson to sleep with a fast right hook, just 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 among the most feared grapplers on the planet, and it has stopped 58-percent of his fights via submission. As he showed in the first matchup, he is not too shabby at throwing leather . He lands a decent 2.28 significant strikes every minute and has a spectacular accuracy of 44.1-percent.
Souza suffered a devastating loss to Robert Whittaker through head kick at his last fight (April 2017), but he’s also won 10 of his last 12 and hasn’t lost back-to-back conflicts in his career. A win on Saturday would place Souza’s title back to middleweight title picture, and time is of the essence for its 38-year-old.
At 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), rising up the middleweight positions in the process. Knocking guys 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’s won 61-percent of his struggles via KO, and it has generated knockouts in each of the last six victories. Interestingly, he’s never been submitted in his career.
The contrasting styles make this a very interesting fight for MMA purists. Typically, it’s smart to lean towards the high level grappler within the energy 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 try to finish things early, while using his wrestling to keep the fight standing.
Right now, Brunson is recorded at +135 on MyBookie.ag. It is a fantastic value bet worth getting now.
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