UFC on Fox 27 - Main Card Breakdown

Date: Sunday 28th January, 1am (UK)

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Venue: Spectrum Center

Jacare Souza vs Derek Brunson

Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza will travel to the home state of the man he put to sleep over six years ago in a thrilling rematch serving as the main event for UFC on Fox 27. Derek Brunson has been gifted the chance of redemption on home soil after suffering his first career knockout at the hands of Jacare.

Their fight was under the Strikeforce banner and it didn’t last long. The multiple time World Jiu-Jitsu champion was expected to counter the aggressive attacks of Brunson with takedowns. However, the Brazilian looked more like a world champion boxer, timing a beautiful counter straight right, clean on the jaw of the incoming Brunson. Following up with a couple more finishing blows, Jacare secured the surprise finish.

So, Brunson is hell-bent on delivering payback with a knockout of his own but Jacare will have other ideas as he is desperate to bounce back from his loss to Robert Whittaker and rebuild his title contender status. An impressive win for either men will push them to the front of the queue of monsters seeking the middleweight gold.

Both fighters have evolved considerably since their first meeting and their seasoned skills make a compelling rematch. Jacare’s strengths are undeniable as one of the best practitioners of Jiu-Jitsu in MMA with his striking continuing to improve. Brunson will be wise to respect the striking of Jacare but will still look to keep the whole fight on the feet.

Brunson will have to use his reach advantage and exceptional wrestling to keep the distance and defend any takedowns. He will also utilize his speed and explosiveness to inflict damage as soon as possible but he can’t be too reckless. He has earned success as the aggressor but Jacare is not somebody you want to rush towards. He counters like a predator with proven knockout ability and grappling that is on a different level, requiring only the slightest mistake to wrap up a submission.

These deadly finishers will provide a tense contest but Brunson will have to utilize his reach more effectively to earn a different result this time around.

Jacare v Brunson.JPG

Dennis Bermudez vs Andre Fili

Dennis Bermudez is desperate to avoid a third straight defeat after a brutal knockout delivered by Chan Sung Jung and narrowly losing a decision to Darren Elkins in his last fight. After getting to the finale of The Ultimate Fighter 14 all the way back in 2011, we have seen Bermudez mature into an exceptionally well-rounded fighter but he is struggling to find his form inside the octagon.

For a chance of getting back into the win column he has been handed Andre Fili who, since joining the UFC, has struggled to form any consistency of his own. Arriving with a record of 12-1, the Hawaiian has been unable to string two wins together and will have to be at his best to make Bermudez that illusive second consecutive win on his UFC record.

Fili boasts a significant reach advantage which will be crucial in keeping the distance. Bermudez is most destructive in the pocket with the threat of knockout power and explosive takedowns. Success for either fighter will depend on the navigation of the reach. 

See below for the statistical breakdown:

Bermudez v Fili.JPG

Jordan Rinaldi vs Gregor Gillespie

These two up-and-coming lightweights only have five UFC fights between them but they are already beginning to make waves in a stacked division. Jordan Rinaldi welcomes Gregor Gillespie to the state he grew up in to put his unbeaten record to the test.

Rinaldi arrived to the UFC 12-4 but experienced the step-up in competition when he met Abel Trujillo for his UFC debut. He was outclassed on the night and was gutted that he didn’t get to show off his full talent and array of skills. However, he certainly made amends in his next fight - submitting Alvaro Herrera with a magnificent Von Flue choke which has earned him a clash with another exciting lightweight.

Gillespie is on an absolute tear, unbeaten with eight finishes and goes into this fight with a stunning knockout at UFC 210 over Andrew Holbrook and an unforgettable fight with Jason Gonzalez in which he ended a war by cinching in an arm-triangle.

So, we should expect an exciting fight with two young guns eager to make a name for themselves. The key stat is the average takedowns of Gillespie who will rely on his NCAA Division 1 calibre Wrestling if Rinaldi gets the better of him on the feet. 

See below for the statistical breakdown:

Rinaldi v Gillespie.JPG

Drew Dober vs Frank Camacho

Drew Dober has an incredible amount of experience for his age with nine UFC fights already. He has been at the right and wrong ends of spectacular finishes as well as the ‘no contest’ ruled after the referee mistakenly stopped his fight with Leandro Silva believing he tapped.

Dober has displayed immense potential but has struggled to get a winning run going. He has all the skills – an amateur World Muay Thai champion complimented by strong grappling skills with Wrestling and an ever-improving Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game and now has the added confidence of going into this fight on the back of a superb knockout over UFC veteran, Josh Burkman.

A real test of his skills and character will come as he meets Frank Camacho who is also incredibly experienced for his age. Camacho has earned success on the regional circuits but needs to prove himself in the UFC and a win over Dober will certainly do that.

The man from the Northern Marian Islands will be confident he has the power advantage, looking to avoid any takedown attempts and unleash his power. Dober has to be wary of the hands of Camacho with 15 knockouts out of his 21 wins but Camacho has to throw with caution as Dober possesses the skills to threat in any area. 

See below for the statistical breakdown: 

Dober v Camacho.JPG