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Can Derek Brunson KO Ronaldo Souza?
Eric Roberts 2018-01-24 in MMA Tips
In the main event of UFC on FOX 27, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza will return to the UFC’s octagon to battle the rising Derek Brunson. This matchup between two contenders in the middleweight division will headline the organization’s return to Charlotte and top the bill of a four-fight main card.
Derek Brunson has made massive strides since losing to Souza in Strikeforce in 2012. At the time, Brunson was a wild striker who relied on his ability to smash opponents with his heavy hands. Interestingly, not much has changed. Brunson still headhunts and looks to end the fight early but now, more than ever before, he has become increasingly patient – an attribute that he wishes he had back when he first met Souza.
Souza, a former Strikeforce middleweight champion, will be instantly looking to get this fight to the mat despite his previous success on the feet with Brunson. Right now, Brunson is too dangerous for seemingly anyone to hang out with while standing up.
The question for this fight is whether or not Souza will have immediate success with his takedowns. All early indications point toward Brunson’s wrestling being a significant hurdle “Jacare”. Recently, Brunson has developed his striking to a point in which he is not just powerful, but also very efficient and exceptional at counter striking. For Souza, a fighter who likes to walk forward and occasionally attempt a wild strike himself, Brunson might just be able to clip him and end the fight.
Souza showed in his last fight against Whittaker that without the threat of the takedown – which Whittaker had stuffed repeatedly – his striking was no longer dangerous. See, Whittaker had confidence in attempting any kind of strikes, including high kicks, because he was overwhelmingly convinced that he could work back to his feet if required.
While it’s hard to know how Brunson’s wrestling compares to Whittaker, he is regarded as having superb defensive wrestling ability. This might be the X-factor in this fight with Souza, as, like Whittaker, Brunson might disrupt the early flow of “Jacare” and then begin searching for the ‘one-and-done’ shot to end the night.
Prediction and Betting Guide
While the bookmakers are seemingly expecting this one to last a couple of rounds, at least, I’m more inclined to believe that this fight will finish inside the first two rounds.
Simply, if Brunson lands on Souza, it will likely be stunning enough to end the fight. And if we find out that Brunson can’t defend the takedowns or grappling threat from Souza, he might just find himself unable to defend against the submissions or crafty back takes from “Jacare”.
Either way, it should end early.
Derek Brunson by KO/TKO (punches) – round one
As such, there are two ‘best bets’ for this fight.
Ronaldo Souza vs. Derek Brunson
Saturday, January 27 – 9:30 pm (ET) / 2:30am (GMT)
Derek Brunson to Win
Odds: 67/502.34+1341.341.34-0.75 – BetOnline
Total Rounds – Under 1.5
Odds: 1/12.00+1001.001.00-1.00 – BetVictor
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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