Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza takes on Derek Brunson on January 27th, 2018 at the main event of UFC on Fox 27 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Second Time

This will be the second time that these two middleweight contenders are going to fight each other. The first time they met was at the Strikeforce promotion in 2012, where Souza recorded a quick 41-second knockout of Brunson. Souza signed with the UFC the following year and has won seven of nine bouts.

Brunson meanwhile, immediately went to the UFC following his loss to Jacare and has compiled a record of 9-3 under the UFC banner. Three of Brunson’s last three fights were outside U.S. soil but for this encounter, he will be fighting in front of his hometown fans in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Contrasting Styles

Between two decorated octagon veterans, this one’s a pick ‘em fight. Jacare is the slight favorite at -160 while Brunson came back as the underdog at +140. This should be both fun and exciting to watch with two fighters trying to impose their contrasting styles on each other.

According to Fightmetric, Souza is averaging 3.24 takedowns per 15 minutes with 44.44% accuracy. Meanwhile Brunson lands 3.2 significant strikes per minute at a 46% connect rate.

Having said that, it’s pretty clear that Jacare might want to bring this fight to the ground rather than slug it out with Brunson on his feet. Brunson meanwhile is well aware that Jacare has 17 wins by submission, so he’d rather take his chances standing up rather than defending the Brazilian’s submission attempts on the ground.

Not The Same Fighter

When he’s at his best, Jacare Souza is one of the sport’s premier grapplers and wrestlers. As we said, he has 17 wins by submission and that represents 58% of his total victories to date. He is coming off the first knockout loss of his career against Robert Whitaker but he’s never lost back to back fights before in his career. The only concern here is that Souza is already 38 years old and while he still has the ability to strike with the best in business, his reflexes are no longer what they used to be. Just take a look at the Whitaker bout.

That’s where Brunson gets excited. After his back to back losses to Robert Whitaker ( by KO ) and Anderson Silva ( controversial loss ), Brunson has picked up consecutive knockout wins over Daniel Kelly and Lyoto Machida. He is one of the biggest punchers in the middleweight division with his last six wins coming via knockout. Not only does Brunson have the punching power, he also has a 77 inch reach that makes him an ever dangerous striker. Although he isn’t adept to the ground and Souza is, Brunson has never been submitted in his career.

Submissions Are Key

Submissions are the key here because it’s where Souza has made a living and it’s where Brunson has never tasted defeat. In a game between striker and grappler, it’s almost always good to beat on the latter. In this case though, Brunson doesn’t only have a five inch reach advantage on Jacare, he also has never been submitted nor has he ever been taken down in his UFC career.

Brunson has the speed  to counter every takedown that Souza tries and has the power to end this fight at any moment. Given Jacare’s age and decline in recent fights plus the fact that Brunson is fighting in his hometown, we’re picking the American Derek Brunson to win this rematch via knockout.

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *