UFC on FOX 27 goes down in the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. tonight, headlined by a pivotal clash between Ronaldo Souza and Derek Brunson, two middleweights on the cusp of title contention. All together there are 12 fights going down in Charlotte on Saturday and that means 12 opportunities to find value if you know where to look. MMA Fighting has you covered on that front, with everything worth knowing for all your betting needs this weekend.
UFC on FOX 27; Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
FOX Main Card (8 P.M. ET)
Ronaldo Souza -120 (55%) vs. Derek Brunson +100 (50%)
Dennis Bermudez -155 (61%) vs. Andre Fili +135 (43%)
Jordan Rinaldi +435 (19%) vs. Gregor Gillespie -570 (85%)
Drew Dober -160 (62%) vs. Frank Camacho +140 (42%)
FS1 Prelims (5 P.M. ET)
Erik Koch +130 (43%) vs. Bobby Green -150 (60%)
Mirsad Bektic -600 (86%) vs. Godofredo Pepey +450 (18%)
Katlyn Chookagian -150 (60%) vs. Mara Romero Borella +130 (43%)
Randa Markos -160 (62%) vs. Juliana Lima +140 (42%)
Justine Kish -280 (74%) vs. Ji Yeon Kim +240 (29%)
Vinc Pichel -110 (52%) vs. Joaquim Silva -110 (52%)
UFC Fight Pass Prelims (4 P.M. ET)
Niko Price -320 (76%) vs. George Sullivan +260 (28%)
Austin Arnett +180 (36%) vs. Cory Sandhagen -220 (69%)
Derek Brunson at +100
The main event of the weekend is a rematch between former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jacare Souza and rising middleweight Derek Brunson, with a possible title shot hanging in the balance.
Souza is one of the best grapplers to have ever compete in MMA and the bulk of his game relies on takedowns and top control. He’s by no means a one-dimensional fighter though as Souza has excellent footwork and good power in his hands. The biggest concern with Souza is that at 38 years old, its possible his best days are behind him.
Brunson is a former collegiate wrestler with an MMA game built around power and aggression. He is mostly a striker these days, with an astonishing six first-round knockouts in the UFC, but he can still shoot a clean double-leg when the occasion calls for it, and his defensive wrestling is excellent.
The key questions here are how reckless does Brunson get, and is Jacare still the same fighter he used to be, and I think the answer to both is “not really.” Brunson has never been taken down in his MMA career which means this will be contested on the feet and Brunson hits very hard and is steadily improving whereas Jacare is on the decline and has never had an iron chin. I think Brunson is going to add another first-round KO to his collection and so I like him for a plus-money bet.
Andre Fili at +135
The co-main event of the evening features Dennis Bermudez trying to stop a two-fight skid against an Andre Fili who looks to potentially be putting all his tools together finally.
Bermudez is the archetypal wrestle-boxer, working combinations on the feet while frequently trying to take his opponent down, all at a very high pace. Fili is a rangy kickboxer with a sharp jab and good takedowns of his own, but he’s prone to hyper-aggression that has made him susceptible to being countered with big punches and takedowns in the past.
As with the main event, the big questions here are: is Bermudez starting to show signs of wear and tear and will Fili fight reckless, and again I favor youthful improvement to win the day over the declining veteran. For years, Fili has had all the tools to be a real player at 145 pounds and in his last couple of fights he’s appeared to start putting those pieces together in a substantive way. I like Fili to win a competitive decision so I also like the plus-money value on him.
Juliana Lima at +140
On the FS1 prelims, Randa Markos takes on Juliana Lima in a fight between two flyweights trying to stay relevant in a rapidly improving division.
Markos is an inconsistent fighter, having alternated wins and losses for her entire UFC career. On the feet, she is a decent volume striker but she lacks power and is imminently hittable. Where Markos does her best work is as a top-position grappler, but she’s not the best wrestler and she gets into scrambles often that don’t suit her.
Lima is a slow-paced kickboxer, who despite having a striking background, secretly prefers to work on the ground. She’s competent in all-phases but her low output and lack of finishing skills means she gets outpointed regularly.
In my eyes, this fight is razor close. Markos brings the volume to the table but Lima is the better wrestler and should be able to control where the fight takes place. I think Lima keeps it close enough on the feet and lands a couple of takedowns on Markos to scrap out a win on the scorecards. Given the pick and the odds, I like a bet on Lima straight, and I also like throwing the Over 2.5 rounds as parlay fodder.
- Gillespie is a blue-chip prospect who will win but there’s no meat on this bone.
- There’s possibly some value on Camacho but Dober’s improvements under Team Elevation make this one a pass for me.
- Green is the better fighter but you can’t feel confident in either of these guys, ever.
- Like Gillespie, Bektic is a top-shelf prospect, but there’s no meat on this line. Even parlaying both together doesn’t get you enough juice to make it worth it.
- Chookagian-Borella odds are spot on so no bet.
- This is a set up fight for Kish but I would caution against using her as parlay fodder given Kim’s physical advantages.
- Pichel-Silva is a coin flip fight so if either guy gets into the plus-money, it’s worth a stab.
- Price is going to win, but I can’t trust him at this price.
- Arnett-Sandhagen should be gangbusters to watch but you should never bet on a fight between two UFC debutants.
That’s all for this week. If you have any questions or you’d like to talk more about MMA betting or the fights in general, reach out to me @JedKMeshew. Otherwise, good luck and enjoy the fights!
(Editor’s note: All of this advice is for entertainment purposes only.)