Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman August 18, 2012 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California Strikeforce Middleweight Contender Ronaldo Souza (-450) Profile: Also known as “Jacare” or “Alligator” in Portuguese, Ronaldo Souza (15-3-1) is a legend in the annals of BJJ history. After a quick start to his career in Brazil, where he went 7-1, Jacare made the transition to the international stage when Dream came calling. In the Japanese promotion, he went 3-1-1 and was an upkick from Gegard Mousasi away from winning the Dream Middleweight Grand Prix. Following Dream in 2009, the 32-year-old made Strikeforce his new home, and proceeded to capture the vacant middleweight title in a close battle with Tim Kennedy. Jacare would go on to defend his title against Robbie Lawler before eventually losing it current champion Luke Rockhold. Strikeforce Middleweight Contender Derek Brunson (+300) Profile: Derek Brunson (9-1) is a former Division II All-American wrestler from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke who had a fantastic start to his career, going 9-0 over his first two years in the sport on the independent circuit and Strikeforce. He suffered his first loss at the hands of former UFC vet and TUF winner Kendall Grove at ShoFight 20 via a controversial split decision. The 28-year-old was originally expected to fight Jacare Souza back on March 3, but he failed to meet a minimum vision requirement in the state of Ohio and later underwent a Lasik procedure to fix the issue. Brunson is still young and has a bright future ahead of him. He splits his time training with Renzo Gracie’s team and Jackson’s MMA out of Albuquerque, which puts him in constant five-star company. Opening Strikeforce Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Souza a big-450 favorite (bet $450 to win $100) while Brunson opened as a +300 underdog (bet $100 to win $300) according to the MMA odds. Souza is the former Strikeforce middleweight champion and still among the Top 15 in his division according to the MMAOB MMA Fighter Rankings, with his only loss in the last three years coming against the current champion Rockhold via unanimous decision. He has superior experience with almost twice as many fights as Brunson, who has potential but is still a very raw in terms of MMA skills at this stage of his career. Brunson has seen three of his past four bouts go to the judges, and he might have a tough time going the distance against such a submission specialist like Souza, who has finished 12 of his opponents among his 15 wins overall.