UFC On FOX 27 takes place tomorrow night in North Carolina and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Main Card (FOX):
Ronaldo Souza vs. Derek Brunson
Back in 2012, Souza made short work of Brunson in the Strikeforce promotion, knocking him out in just 41 seconds, but over five years later, the now 38-year-old ‘Jacare’ is coming off a TKO loss, while a now more-experienced Brunson has KO’d his last two opponents.
Despite his success with striking last time out, ‘Jacare’ would be wise not to underestimate the hard-hitting Brunson on the feet this time around as he has a proven record of showcasing fight-ending power in the Octagon, with his last six victories being finished by punches in the first round.
‘Jacare’s’ real strength lies in his mastery of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and if he can get Brunson to the mat then he has the ability to tie him up in knots and emerge with a submission victory, but his opponent has good wrestling and is extremely hard to take down, so that’s going to be easier said than done.
It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top here. If Brunson is too sloppy and over-aggressive then Souza could successfully counter him, but Brunson has cleaned up his striking of late and I think his takedown defense will enable him to trouble ‘Jacare’ on the feet and emerge with a TKO victory.
Derek Brunson to win by TKO in Rd2.
Dennis Bermudez vs. Andre Fili
Both of these two featherweights have struggled to find consistency in their UFC careers of late, but can be dangerous when they are on their game.
Bermudez is aggressive on the feet, to his detriment at times, but also has a strong wrestling base and I think that will be his best route to victory here, taking away Fili’s striking threat by keeping him occupied on the mat over the course of three rounds.
Dennis Bermudez to win by decision.
Gregor Gillespie vs. Jordan Rinaldi
Gillespie has been marked out as a potential force to be reckoned with in the lightweight division and will get a chance to show why on FOX against Rinaldi.
Gillespie’s high-level wrestling makes him hard to deal with, but he has also developed his striking to go along with that, which should make him somewhat comeptitive against Rinaldi on the feet.
Nevertheless, this fight is likely to be won or lost on the mat, with Rinaldi also being comfortable their and possessing a significant threat via submissions. Still, I believe Gillespie’s superior wrestling will be the deciding factor, enabling him to control his opponent and emerge with a unanimous decision victory.
Drew Dober vs. Frank Camacho
The curiously compiled UFC On FOX 27 main card opens up with two welterweight fighters in Dober and Camacho who are still trying to make a name for themselves in the division.
Both men will be happy to slug it out on the feet, which should make for a fun fight, but I favor Dober to come out on top via strikes as Camacho’s a bit too hittable and despite having a lengthy career on the regional scene he hasn’t been operating at the same level of competition as his opponent.
Drew Dober to win by TKO in Rd2.
Prelims (FOX Sports 1): (Predicted winners in bold)
Bobby Green vs. Erik Koch
Mirsad Bektic vs. Godofredo Pepey
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Mara Romero Borella
Juliana Lima vs. Randa Markos
Justine Kish vs. Ji Yeon Kim
Vinc Pichel vs. Joaquim Silva
UFC Fight Pass:
Niko Price vs. George Sullivan
Austin Arnett vs. Cory Sandhagen