UFC 194 Play: Jacare Souza (-150) vs Yoel Romero (+130)

Yoel RomeroUFC 194 Date: December 12, 2015 Arena: MGM Grand Garden Arena City: Las Vegas, NV Middleweight bout: Jacare Souza (-150) vs Yoel Romero (+130) Fight Breakdown: Middling the main card for UFC 194 in Las Vegas will be an unofficial title eliminator in the UFC’s middleweight division between former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Cuban Olympic silver medalist wrestler, Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero. Souza is a -150 ($150 to win $100) betting favorite heading into this match-up, with Romero being a +130 ($100 to win $130) underdog at Several Bookmakerss. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (22-3-1 NC MMA, 5-0 UFC) enjoys a five fight winning streak inside the Octagon, which he hopes to extend to six while simultaneously cementing himself as the number one contender for the promotion’s middleweight title. Jacare is one of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners in all of mixed martial arts, both offensively and defensively, though it is quite rare for him to find himself on the defensive end of a grappling exchange inside the cage. With him, as soon as the fight hits the mat with him, it is generally game over. Souza is without a doubt a submission ace and a definite finisher, as 18 of his 22 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come inside the distance, all but two of them being by way of submission. The pair of knockouts were over Derek Brunson and Yushin Okami, respectively. The 35-year old is constantly showing improvement in his striking, as was evident by the aforementioned knockouts and the improvements he has put on display from fight to fight in recent Octagon appearances. Formerly just a threat on the mat, he is now a threat on the feet with his striking, as well, and possesses knockout power. The Brazilian is generally a well-conditioned athlete, and I expect he will be ready for a full 15-minutes of action against the Cuban, if necessary. Yoel “Soldier of God” Romero (10-1 MMA, 6-0 UFC) is coming off a third round knockout of mixed martial arts legend and former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida and is now red-hot with a six fight winning streak inside the Octaon. Five of the six wins have come inside the distance, with four of them being third round knockouts. Romero is without a doubt a finisher and has been prior to entering the UFC, as 9 of his 10 career wins have come by way of T/KO. He is a southpaw who throws very heavy hands, and packs a lot of power behind every strike. His lone career loss came against Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante under the Strikeforce banner, where the Olympic silver medalist was doing well in the bout until getting caught on the feet towards the end of the second frame. The Cuban is a talented wrestler with silver and bronze medals in the Olympics. He works great takedowns and has a beautiful double leg. When in top position on the mat, he is brutal with his heavy ground and pound, as was evident with the aforementioned knockout of Machida. The 38-year old is definitely a heavy hitter who is always looking to put his opponents away, and despite his age, he is arguably the fastest middleweight in the division. He has great movement on the feet, and uses the inside leg kick really well. Romero has solid striking defense, and is very patient, as he looks for opportunities to explode. His conditioning seems to be hit or miss, so it is a question mark as to how he will look entering the third frame of this contest, should it get that far. A win over Jacare here should earn the Cuban a shot at the winner of the evening’s co-main event, which sees UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman defend his title against challenger Luke Rockhold. He will be looking to leave it all inside the Octagon in an effort to get his hand raised and get a shot at UFC gold. Gabe’s Thoughts: In short, I think “Soldier of God” puts the Brazilian away in this middleweight affair. I would not be surprised to see Romero outwrestle Jacare and avoid his submission attempts en route to a decision victory, but I think he gets this done with his striking. Gabe’s Call: “Soldier of God” by T/KO (punches, 0:36 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Romero (+130) 1.5u to win 1.95u

Written by Gabe Killian

Leave a Reply

TUF 22 Finale’s Joby Sanchez: ‘I have a lot of confidence in my power’

Titan FC 36 Jack May talks Chase Sherman, UFC tenure & Brendan Schaub friendship