Free UFC Fight Night 28 Picks: Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (-250) vs. Yushin Okami (+230)

Yushin Okami UFC Fight Night 28 Belo Horizonte, Brazil Wednesday, September 4, 2013 Middleweight bout (three rounds): Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (-250) vs. Yushin Okami (+230) Fight Breakdown: The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 28 is a three-round middleweight bout between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Yushin Okami. Souza is a -250 favorite (bet $250 to win $100), while Okami is a +230 underdog (bet $100 to win $230) at Several Bookmakers. Souza (18-3, 1 NC) is one of the best submission artists in the division. The 33-year-old is the former Strikeforce middleweight champion, having defeated Tim Kennedy for the vacant title back at Strikeforce: Houston. Although he eventually lost the title to Luke Rockhold, he has since bounced back with wins over Bristol Marunde, Derek Brunson, Ed Herman and, in his UFC debut this past May, a win over Chris Camozzi. Souza is a big, strong middleweight with improving striking and a deadly ground game. However, he has been controlled by grinders before and he’s also been knocked out on multiple occasions, so although he is the rightful favorite in this fight in his native Brazil, that doesn’t mean he’s a lock. Okami (29-7) is, simply put, the third-best middleweight in UFC history behind former champs Anderson Silva and Rich Franklin. The 32-year-old is exceptionally strong in the clinch and he is a smart fighter who uses the cage to pin his opponents and work in dirty boxing before dragging his fights to the floor where he has a strong top-control game. Although Okami was KOed by Silva and Tim Boetsch in succession, he has since rebounded with wins over Buddy Roberts, Alan Belcher, and Hector Lombard to reaffirm his place as one of the top 185ers out there. Okami is the underdog in this fight and he’s up for a challenge, but if he’s able to impose his wrestling game, he definitely has a good chance of pulling off the upset. Fight Prediction: The first round will likely play out on the feet and I think it will be competitive. But in the second I see Okami pushing Souza against the fence and using his dirty boxing to score points. I even think he will try and sneak in some takedowns at the end of rounds to seal the deal on the judges’ scorecards and, in a big upset, I think Okami will have done enough with his grappling to win the decision over a Brazilian in Brazil. Adam’s Pick: Okami via decision (click for latest MMA odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: At +230 I really like Okami for a straight bet here. The Okami wins by decision prop at +280 is also tempting but ultimately there’s not enough extra value so I’d pass unless you want to use it in a prop round robin. I also like the points handicap of +3.5 on Okami here as it pays out +120 and all he has to do is win a round on all three cards and it cashes.

Written by Adam Martin.

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