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UFC on FOX: Jacare vs Brunson 2 - Jan 27


wandshogun09
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Saturday 27th January on Big FOX. And the UFC is in Charlotte...

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...North Carolina! 

It's not as stacked as some of the FOX shows we've had recently but there's some good stuff there to sink your teeth into. 

 

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FOX MAIN CARD
Jacare Souza vs Derek Brunson 

Dennis Bermudez vs Andre Fili

Gregor Gillespie vs Jordan Rinaldi 

Drew Dober vs Frank Camacho

 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS
Bobby Green vs Erik Koch

Mirsad Bektic vs Godofredo Pepey

Mara Romero Borella vs Katlyn Chookagian

Randa Markos vs Juliana Lima 

Justine Kish vs Ji Yeon Kim 

Vinc Pichel vs Joaquim Silva

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Niko Price vs George Sullivan 

Austin Arnett vs Cory Sandhagen

 

See? Decent little card, isn't it? 

 

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Jacare vs Brunson 2 tops the bill. I like this matchmaking. Two top contenders who, due to the current depth of challengers in the middleweight division at the top end, find themselves not quite in the title picture at the moment. But a big win here could fix that. 

As you can probably guess by the massive 2 on the poster, this is a rematch. They first fought back in August 2012 in Strikeforce. They were co-main under Ronda Rousey's first title defence against Sarah Kaufman. It didn't last long. 

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Jacare blasted Brunson out of there with a KO in just 41 seconds. 

In fairness to Brunson, he was fairly inexperienced back then. It was his 11th pro fight but his best opponent to that point was Kendall Grove, and Grove beat him on points. So we're dealing with a different Derek Brunson back then. He wasn't there yet and he clearly wasn't ready for a prime Jacare. Since that loss, Brunson has fought 12 times, going 9-3 in that period. His 3 losses in that timeframe were to Yoel Romero, Robert Whittaker and Anderson Silva. No shame there and many, including me, actually had him beating Anderson. He's definitely improved a lot since Jacare bashed him 5 years ago. He looked impressive in his wins over names such as Chris Leben, Lorenz Larkin, Roan Carneiro and Uriah Hall. And in his last fight he knocked out Lyoto Machida in the first round. His last 6 wins were all first round knockouts actually. Brunson is no joke. 

And Jacare has some questions to answer. He's been an absolute savage forever. I remember seeing him in DREAM years ago and thinking he was going to be 'the man' before long. It's never quite panned out like that but he's always been close. And you get the feeling that behind the scenes he's one of the more quietly feared guys on the roster. You never really see fighters call out Jacare, do you? There doesn't seem to be a long line of guys up for being shut in the cage with him. And rightly so. Look back over his career and he's beat the likes of Vitor Belfort, Gegard Mousasi, Yushin Okami, Robbie Lawler, Tim Kennedy and Matt Lindland. He stopped most of them as well. Ridiculous BJJ. Like, not just for MMA, it's world championship level, multiple medal winning, can probably tie any man on the planet in knots, blackest of black belts type of grappling. And he's added dangerous striking and KO power punching to that. He's lethal. Which is why Robert Whittaker completely shutting him down and finishing him in April was so impressive/shocking. Jacare got battered and, there's no other way to put it, outclassed by Whittaker. And nobody saw it going like that. That's why I say Jacare has some questions to answer here. We haven't seen him since. Was it just a bad night? Was he injuried? Is Whittaker just that good? Is it the start of Jacare declining? Despite how the first fight went, I think the Brunson we've got today is equipped to force the answers out of Jacare. Very interesting fight and the winner should be right in the mix for a contenders fight sometime in mid 2018. 

 

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OSP vs Latifi co-headlines. I like this fight. Mostly because of Some Fucker granted. But to be fair to OSP, he's been pretty good value in 2017. He fought 4 times and went 3-1. But sod the scoreline. Two Von Flue chokes (or Von Preux) in a row against Marcos Rogerio De Lima and Yushin Okami. Then he scored one of the best knockouts of the year, on the biggest show of the year at MSG in November, with his headkick on Corey Anderson. Used to find OSP dull as fuck but fair's fair, he's been fun to watch lately. I love Latifi though so I'm pulling for him. He's coming off a hype train derailing win over Tyson Pedro at UFC 215 in September and is 4-1 in his last 5. I like him a lot but I think this is a really awkward matchup for him. Sadly, at the top levels of the division I think Latifi is always going to struggle. He's one of those guys whose frame lets him down because he's too short for 205 but too thick to cut to 185. He really ideally needs a 195 division. 

 

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Gillespie vs Rinaldi is a fight I've really got my eye on. I like this Gregor Gillespie. He's had 3 fights now in the UFC but I only really took notice of him in his last fight. He fought Jason Gonzalez on a Fight Night in September and I genuinely rate it up there for FOTY. It was fucking awesome. I think Justin Gaethje's wars with Alvarez and Johnson are ahead but I'd rate Gillespie vs Gonzalez just under those two. Honestly, if you didn't see it you need to. And not just that, Gillespie seemed like a great guy in the post-fight interview as well. He can talk, has charisma, he's likeable, oh and he's unbeaten at 10-0 with 8 finishes. I'm looking forward to seeing him back in there and you should be too. 

 

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Bobby Green vs Erik Koch is another fight I can see being really entertaining. Green is a good fighter but he can be hit and miss and his style gets on my tits sometimes. It's annoying because you can see he's good, but there's fights where he seems more interested in taunting and talking shit than actually doing damage and he's let fights slip away that he probably should've won because of that. His last fight at UFC 216 in October was incredible though. Like my recommendation of Gillespie vs Gonzalez above, if you haven't seen Bobby Green vs Lando Vannata then get firing Fight Pass up or something. Another FOTY contender that went largely under the radar. It was fantastic. It ended on a draw but Green had lost 3 fights on the trot before that so he needs to get that W here badly. I hope he does, can't stand Erik Koch. 

 

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Mara Romero Borella vs Katlyn Chookagian is a fight I can't give a great deal of background on. I've seen Chookagian fight a few times and she looked decent but nothing blew me away. I liked Borella's debut fight though. She fought Kalindra Faria on the PPV main card of 216 and she looked great. Considering she was thrust into a big spot on the card at the last minute she didn't seem fazed a bit. She got the first round submission and then let out a scream that my ears are still ringing from. First Italian female fighter in the UFC as well, which is a nice little bit of pointless trivia. 

 

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Bermudez vs Fili should be a lively all action fight. I hope Bermudez can get back on track here. At one point he really looked like he was going to make some noise in the featherweight division but it's all fizzled out. He's lost 4 of his last 6 fights and been stopped in 3 of those losses. Exciting fighter and he's been involved in two of my favourite lighter weight fights ever (vs Grice and Stephens) but the results just haven't been going his way recently. Fili is alright but I've never rated him that much. Bermudez should win this. He's got more tools and has operated at a much higher level. Hopefully this will get him back in the win column and he can build from there.

 

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OK, Bektic vs Pepey is the ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH*** for this show. Really can't wait for this one. Hopefully it does actually make the air and they don't bury it down on Fight Pass because I've got high hopes for this. I feel like a stuck record but...another under the radar FOTY from 2017 was Mirsad Bektic vs Darren Elkins from UFC 209 in March. I forgot about it myself until I think Bifkin nominated it for FOTY in the 2017 Awards on here. Was an incredible fight. Bektic went in 11-0 unbeaten and was giving Elkins a right hiding. Smashed him to a bloody pulp for 2 and a bit rounds. Then Elkins heroically rallied back in the third and KO'd Bektic with a headkick. Unbelievable. I always say it's interesting to see how an undefeated fighter rebounds from their first loss and this was a crushing loss. And I fucking love a bit of Pepey. At 13-5 he's no title threat, nor will be likely ever be, but he's so much fun to watch. His fights are almost ALWAYS the best thing on any card he's on for one reason or another. He's just never really in high profile positions on the cards so you usually have to seek his fights out. He's a madman. He fights like he's controlled by my 5 year old nephew just button mashing a controller. 

 

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Randa Markos vs Juliana Lima should be good. Big fan of Randa but at 7-5 she's got to start finding some consistency and stringing wins together. She looked great on TUF 20 a few years ago, from unknown to a real darkhorse. But she's been hot and cold since. Literally, her 7 UFC fights so far she's gone L, W, L, W, L, W, L. By that logic she lost her last fight so she should win this. Seriously, her last fight in August was a really good scrap. She fought top young prospect Alexa Grasso in Mexico and lost on points in a fun brawl. But yeah, she's been wildly inconsistent. Least she beat Carla Esparza though :p Lima's a solid test. 9-4, good all-rounder. Only loses to top fighters. Took Joanna Jedrzejczyk the distance a few years back. Tough fight for Randa but if she can't beat Lima after 8 fights in the UFC...the writing's probably on the wall sadly. 

 

Elsewhere on the card you've got Niko Price back in the cage. Fresh off his first loss to Vicente Luque in October. I like Price. Thought he looked like a beast in his wins over Jouban and Thatch. There's potential there for sure. Losing to Luque is no shame either. Hopefully he bounces back in style here. 

Pichel vs Silva could be a sleeper actually. Joaquim Silva is 10-0 with 8 finishes and a BJJ black belt. Pichel is 10-1 and on a nice little streak as well. But I'm rooting for Silva purely because Pichel deserves a slap for his fuck awful nickname - Vinc 'From Hell' Pichel. Urgh. 

 

Thats about it. I like this card a lot actually. 

 

 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Nice to see you giving Brunson & OSP some love wand. They've always felt like that for the longest time no one could give a toss about despite them being great value as you mentioned (usually).

Edited by Egg Shen
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Yeah, it's a good card this. It's not as deep as most Big FOX cards but the fights that are there should deliver. Really like Bermudez vs Fili, Green vs Koch and Bektic vs Pepey in particular. Looking forward to seeing Gillespie again and interested to see how Niko Price looks, still think he's got some real potential.

Then Jacare vs Brunson tops it off. Should be a much better fight than their first and there's the intrigue of Jacare trying to rebound from the loss to Whittaker. 

Plenty to like about this one. 

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A fantastic finish for Jacare. Stopped at just the right time in my opinion. Cruz on commentary thought it was a little early, but for me, the referee did Brunson a favour there by saving him from taking anymore.

Dober Vs Camacho was a great fight. Fight of the main card (I haven't seen the prelims yet). 

Gillespie looks the business. I've seen him in this fight and his fight in Pittsburgh in September, and both times he has looked to be a bit of a monster. I could see him being a handful for, at least, the guys in the #10-#15 positions in the lightweight division.

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I agree WeeAl, good stoppage.  Think Anik said the same too, he wasn't even feigning any defence and was knocked out of it, then back into it, two or three times.  Got to feel a bit for Derek Brunson, he's 34 now and his next bout will be his 25th as a pro, but he looks likely being remembered one of the many guys that could never get it done against the top contenders.  I guess Michael Bisping has to be his blueprint, but he's just far too reckless.  Hard not to love Jacare though.  Would love to see him go up against Weidman next, unfortunately though there's a log jam what with two interim champions.  You have to wonder if Whittaker is really as crook as is believed, whether he'll have to relinquish the belt too and let Rockhold and Romero slug it out for the real gold? 

Edited by OzExile
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Only just got around to watching this. 

Jacare looked fantastic. Perfect way to rebound from that loss to Whittaker and it shows he's still got plenty left in the tank. He looked like a monster just walking down Brunson at the finish. 

I like Oz's idea of Jacare vs Weidman next. That or Jacare vs Gastelum for me. And maybe do Brunson vs Branch too. 

I really like Gregor Gillespie as well. I can't see him staying undefeated that long but he's got skills, he's exciting to watch and he's got something about him charisma-wise, I think, as well. He doesn't say anything crazy or soundbitey like a lot of fighters try to do these days but he's just got a likeability to him and when he talks it's worth a listen. Reminds me a bit of when Forrest Griffin first broke through after TUF and for the couple of years after. Just comes across as a good guy who you want to see do well. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Good win for Jacare. If he stays healthy he still has the sort of game that could lead him to the belt. Brunson was overly cautious on the feet, i think he was so concerned about what Jacare was going to do he pretty much forgot to do anything offensively himself. Good stoppage from the ref, Jacare wasn't gonna stop uncorking them left hands.

Agree with wand. says about Gillespie. Likeable bloke, also proves that giving the boring stock 'i'll fight whoever they put in front of me' line isn't always a bad thing. The guy likes to fish.

Dober/Camacho was a cracking opener, felt Camacho deserved the nod though. Cruz wasn't happy on commentary.

I skipped the prelims, sometimes just taking in a main card is nice on it's own, a good evenings entertainment.

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