MMA Oddsbreaker’s resident funny man has the week off, so the B-team has been called in to provide a bit of insight into this weekend’s UFC on FOX 27 card. The event is headlined by a middleweight rematch between Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza and Derek Brunson. The main card also features the likes of featherweight contender Dennis Bermudez and lightweight prospect Gregor Gillespie, while the return of featherweight prospect Mirsad Bektic highlights the preliminary card.
Let’s take a look at the props on the board and see if they can’t provide some betting opportunities for this event.
Jacare Souza vs. Derek Brunson: Even at 38, coming off a devastating loss and subsequent shoulder surgery, I don’t see Jacare as on a downswing yet. He’s consistently improved throughout his career, and his athleticism remains elite. That’s going to make things difficult for Brunson, who, while also improved, has adopted a style that relies on him being able to overwhelm opponents with his speed and power. I just don’t see that being an option against Jacare, which means Brunson is going to have to find something after his initial blitz fails. As we saw against Robert Whittaker, that can be a problem for him, and I think it will leave openings for Jacare. Whether Jacare chooses to pursue those on the feet or on the mat is another matter, but I think Brunson’s takedown defense early on will result in Jacare looking for his shots standing, and I expect him to find one. It’s a prop that hit the first time they fought, and I expect it to hit again. Jacare by TKO @ +416.
Dennis Bermudez vs. Andre Fili: Both Bermudez and Fili are normally in exciting fights because neither is particularly well known for their defense, but Fili tends to take it to another level, especially when he gets tired in bouts. The combination of him getting tired and his opponents landing often leads Fili to look for takedowns at ill-advised times. A lazy change of levels got his head nearly punted into the upper deck against Yair Rodriguez, and it got him choked out against Max Holloway. While Bermudez doesn’t have the striking of those opponents, he hits hard enough to make Fili consider mixing things up, and the squeeze on his chokes is nasty. While this one is admittedly a bit of a long shot, this card isn’t particularly plentiful pertaining to prop pricing, and this is more feasible than many other similarly lined outcomes. Bermudez by Submission @ +735.
Drew Dober vs. Frank Camacho: This bout will likely remain a kickboxing affair for 15 minutes. In those situations, unless there’s a huge skill gap between the competitors, I like to side with the guy who will have a higher output. In this case, that’s Camacho. It just so happens that he’s also the bigger fighter with more power in this bout. While I don’t think that power will be enough to crack Dober’s massive jaw, I do expect Camacho to land the more telling blows across fifteen minutes to pick up the victory. In a bout where the line is relatively close (-160/+140 in Dober’s favor), the odds on this prop are saying that if Camacho wins, he only does so by decision half the time. As Camacho’s submission game is limited (3 career sub wins, with one being from a slam) and Dober has never been finished by strikes, I would put that number far higher. Camacho by Decision @ +385.
Mirsad Bektic vs. Godofredo Pepey: It’s rare to find a prop that makes sense when a favorite is lined as high as Bektic is here (-600). However, the way these styles match up, I think Bektic dispatches Pepey in the second round. In the first, Pepey will come out with his usual assortment of flying strikes and when he eventually gets taken down his guard will be active and dangerous. Towards the end of the round, his output will slow and Bektic will start to land with more frequency and power from top position. The takedown will come much easier in the second, the guard won’t be as active, and Bektic will pour on the damage until he picks up the TKO stoppage. Bektic in Round 2 @ +400.