Polish powerhouse Jan Blachowicz is in the best form of his career and on Saturday night at UFC Sao Paulo he will look to prove himself worthy of a shot at Jon “Bones” Jones by defeating Brazilian legend Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.
The heavy-handed submission ace Souza, whose nickname means “Alligator”, has been one of the best 185-pounders in the world for years. Now he’s moved up to 205, where he hopes a win over Blachowicz will put him in the title frame.
But the powerful Pole has looked outstanding in recent months, and his breathtaking knockout of former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold last time out proved that he’s ready for a shot at the gold.
He has solid wrestling defence, good choke submissions and is VERY powerful at light heavyweight.
That combination could prove problematic for “Jacare”, who was well beaten by Jack Hermansson in his last fight at middleweight back in April.
Blachowicz can do pretty much everything Hermansson can do, but with the added bulk, strength and power of a genuine light heavyweight.
That’s not good news for Souza, and I fancy the big pole to claim another stoppage victory against the ageing Brazilian on Saturday night.
Bet of the bout: Jan Blachowicz to win by KO/TKO – 7/5
Craig is dangerous, but you can’t ignore Shogun’s power
Yesterday on this site we highlighted Paul Craig’s ability to take the victory late on in fights, even when the fight seems to be going badly against him. A repeat showing this weekend in Sao Paulo could certainly give you a handy payday if you’re brave enough to back the “Bearjew” this weekend.
But, if you’re not looking for such a risky selection for your acca, it’s impossible not to go with Shogun. He still has plenty of power in his hands and feet, and he’s likely to be all fired up in front of a passionate Brazilian crowd.
Craig almost certainly isn’t going to knock him out, so if Shogun can keep things standing, he has a huge advantage on the feet – and he knows that.
When Craig does get beat, it’s usually by KO/TKO, and it’s often early on – three of his four defeats have come by KO/TKO in the first round. That outcome offers the best value pick for a Shogun victory, with a first-round finish for the former UFC light heavyweight champion a tasty-looking 2/1 shot.
Bet of the bout: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to win by KO/TKO in round 1 – 2/1
Krause the pick to take featured prelim
James Krause is one of the smartest fighters in the UFC. Not only is he a seasoned campaigner in the promotion’s welterweight division, he’s also a well-respected coach and game planner. He’s sure to have a solid plan in place for his featured preliminary bout against Brazilian Sergio Moraes.
Moraes is an outstanding grappler, but he has a weakness – he’s far too comfortable to stay in the stand-up and coast his way through a fight. He’s tough and strong at the weight, but he’s not quite diverse enough as a striker to cause a good 170-pounder real problems on the feet.
that puts the advantage firmly on Krause’s side of the argument. He’s the betting favourite for the fight, but there’s not a lot of value in betting simply on the win markets.
The Method of Victory market offers the best value, with a decision victory for Krause an attractive 17/10. In a fight that looks likely to go all the way to the scorecards, that’s a solid bet.
Bet of the bout: James Krause to win by points – 17/10
* All odds correct at time of posting.