Last Updated: 2018-01-25
After a systematic title defense for Stipe Miocic and an emphatic title defense from Daniel Cormier at UFC 220, we move on in the UFC calendar to UFC on Fox 27 on January 27 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The main event for this card features a rematch between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Derek Brunson. Twelve fights are set for this card, which begins on UFC Fight Pass, transitions to Fox Sports 1 for six additional preliminary card fights, including three women’s bouts, and the four-match main card on Fox.
Per usual, we’ll go in deeper detail with the main card, but pass along the odds for all of the fights from our friends at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
A couple of newcomers start things off, as Cory Sandhagen makes his UFC debut against Austin Arnett. Arnett was on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and lost via unanimous decision to Brandon Davis. It was enough to get him a shot against Sandhagen, who went 2-1 during a stint in LFA. Sandhagen is a -210 favorite in a fight expected to go the distance.
George Sullivan is a big underdog to Niko Price in the welterweight fight that will end UFC Fight Pass’s coverage. Price just suffered his first loss back in October when he tapped out to Vicente Luque. Sullivan comes in off of losses in two of his last three scraps. He has a lot more UFC experience, but hasn’t been in the cage in nearly two years since his knockout loss against Alexander Yakovlev. There should be some fireworks here, with 18 career knockouts between the two fighters.
To Fox Sports 1 we go for the lightweight fight between Vinc Pichel and Joaquim Silva. The 35-year-old Pichel was on TUF 16 way back in 2012 and got some UFC fights as a result. He had a long layoff from his UFC 173 fight on May 24, 2014 to his June 10, 2017 return fight against Damien Brown. He won via first-round knockout. Silva brings a perfect 10-0 record into this one off of a split-decision win over Reza Madadi on May 28 of last year. Silva is giving up a bit of size here, but should be the younger, quicker fighter. Both combatants are listed at -110.
A trio of female fights comes next. We’ll start in the flyweight division with Justine Kish against Ji Yeon Kim. Kish, who is 2-1 in her UFC career, is more than a three-dollar favorite over Kim, who is making just her second UFC appearance. Kim lost to Lucie Pudilova back in June. Kish is also coming off of a loss to Felice Herrig, but she also has a win over Randa Markos in RFA on her resume.
Speaking of Markos, she is a -165 favorite in the next fight against Juliana Lima. The 32-year-old has alternated losses and wins over her last five fights, including a split-decision loss to Alexa Grasso back in August. Markos only has a 7-5 professional record and four of her last five fights have gone to the cards, so it’s tough to lay this type of price. Lima lost her most recent fight to Tecia Torres when Torres replaced Amanda Ribas, who was flagged for a possible doping violation. Lima’s losses are against some fairly high-profile opponents including Carla Esparza and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. She seems live here.
The final women’s fight on the card features Mara Romero Borella in her second career UFC fight against favorite Katlyn Chookagian. Borella was victorious via first-round submission over Kalindra Faria at UFC 216 after an impressive debut fight in Invicta. She is only 10-4 in her career, but hasn’t lost since Halloween 2015. Chookagian is 2-1 in her UFC career, with all three fights going 15 minutes. She only has three stoppage wins in her career. She’s a -160 favorite, but, again the under feels live here.
Mirsad Bektic is a -600 favorite over Godofredo Pepey in a featherweight fight that is not expected to be much of a fight. Pepey lost his most recent bout against Shane Burgos and that quickly erased the gains he made from beating Mike de la Torre by first-round sub on September 24, 2016. Bektic needs a bounce back after suffering his first career loss at the hands of Darren Elkins. Bektic is now 11-1 after that KO defeat. He’s a heavy favorite to get back on track, which makes sense because he seems to have a decent future in this division and UFC officials want to get him back on the path to stardom.
Bobby Green is looking for his first UFC win since July 26, 2014 at the UFC on Fox 12 event over Josh Thomson. Green once hung with guys like Edson Barboza and Dustin Poirier. Now, he’ll try to get that elusive win as a -165 favorite over Erik Koch. Green fought to a draw with Lando Vannata at UFC 216, so he came ever-so-close to that win. Koch hasn’t been seen a whole lot lately. He lost to Clay Guida last June, which was more than a year after he beat Shane Campbell. That Campbell fight came more than two years after his most recent fight. These are two guys that don’t have a lot of rhythm to their training, so this could be a real sloppy fight. The over 2.5 at -160 makes some sense if you can’t peg a fighter to back.
Frank Camacho (+145) vs. Drew Dober (-165); Total: 2.5 (-110/-110)
Frank Camacho will head into the Octagon for his third career UFC fight when he opens up the main card on Fox against Drew Dober. Camacho is one up and one down in his UFC tenure, with a split-decision win over Damien Brown back in November and a loss to Li Jiangling in his debut bout in June. Camacho bounced around a lot of lesser promotions like Trench Warz and PXC before getting his UFC shot. He did come across Keita Nakamura in PXC, but outside of that, we don’t have much to go on. He’s held his own by going 15 minutes with both Brown and Jiangling and Dober isn’t a large amount better than those two fighters.
The question for Camacho, however, is how many shots Drew Dober can land early in this fight. Only one of Dober’s last seven fights has gone to the cards and only three in his UFC tenure, which dates back to 2013. Dober is coming off of a first-round knockout win over Joshua Burkman at UFC 214. He also won by first-round knockout over Jason Gonzalez at UFC 203. Dober hasn’t fought too many top-end fighters in UFC, but he’s done well against lesser competition, and it certainly seems like Camacho fits that bill.
Pick: Drew Dober
Drew Dober is the higher-upside fighter in this contest and he is the better striker with the better finishing game on the ground. The edges aren’t enormous, but he does have a lot of superior traits. Camacho had 15 knockouts working his way up through the ranks, but hasn’t inflicted a lot of punishment on the two UFC fighters that he has faced and also went the distance with Nakamura. Over the course of 15 minutes, Dober should get his shots in.
Jordan Rinaldi (+450) vs. Gregor Gillespie (-600); Total: 2.5 (-155/135)
It’s rare to see a -600 favorite in a fight expected to go to the cards, but that seems to be the case here with Jordan Rinaldi and Gregor Gillespie. Rinaldi is coming off of his most impressive win as a professional with a first-round submission of Alvaro Herrera back in August. That was after he lost his UFC debut to Abel Trujillo less than three months earlier. The 30-year-old has an extensive history of fighting on smaller circuits and actually had a title shot against Jared Downing in RFA. He has, however, lost to guys like James Moontasri and Brian Ortega in RFA, so he has not shown well when he has stepped up in quality.
Gregor Gillespie is putting a perfect 10-0 record on the line in this fight, but that line seems to be pretty thick given the betting odds. Gillespie is 3-0 in UFC with a win by decision, a win by KO, and a win by submission. The 31-year-old was the lightweight champ in ROC before signing a UFC deal and he’s been impressive in his three fights thus far. He already has a fight of the night bonus and a performance of the night bonus. At 31, it’s fair to wonder what the ceiling is for the four-time collegiate All-American and national championship wrestler, but he’s off to a fantastic start.
Pick: Gregor Gillespie
Gillespie may have started a little late, but he has had very little trouble compiling a 10-0 record and shouldn’t have much trouble here either. There’s a reason he’s a $6 favorite. The under at +135 may make some sense, since eight of his 10 wins are by stoppage.
Andre Fili (+135) vs. Dennis Bermudez (-155); Total: 2.5 (-190/165)
Some consistency from Andre Fili would make this handicap a little bit easier. Fili has alternated wins and losses over his last five fights, including decision wins over Artem Lobov and Hacran Dias. He lost to Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez. The Rodriguez loss was via knockout and each of the last three have gone the distance for the 27-year-old. He’s facing a similar fighter in Bermudez in that he hasn’t shown a whole lot of consistency either. This isn’t a great fight and it isn’t a great handicap, in all honesty.
Bermudez has dropped two straight. He was knocked out in the first round by Chan Sung Jung and lost via split decision to Darren Elkins in his two fights last year. That came off of consecutive wins against Rony Jason and Tatsuya Kawajiri. Overall, it’s hard to gauge both of these featherweights. They racked up impressive resumes in smaller promotions, but have been hit or miss at this level.
Pick: Andre Fili
There isn’t a whole lot of evidence as to why Bermudez should be a -155 favorite here when neither fighter has been able to string together a lot of good performances. As a result, the dog should be relatively live in this fight. Overall, though, there are better betting options on the card.
Derek Brunson (+120) vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (-140); Total: 1.5 (-130/110)
This fight is being billed as Jacare vs. Brunson 2, but the first meeting between these two came back in Strikeforce. Jacare knocked out Brunson in that first meeting well over five years ago, so don’t take that element into your handicap at all. What is interesting is that the fight was not cleared in the state of Ohio because Brunson wears contacts. It prompted Brunson to have Lasik and then he lost in 41 seconds five months after the fight was originally scheduled.
Derek Brunson seems to be back on track. The 34-year-old suffered consecutive setbacks against Robert Whittaker and Anderson Silva, but has first-round knockouts over Daniel Kelly and Lyoto Machida in his last two bouts. Brunson is the hometown kid here as a Wilmington, North Carolina native, so we’ll see what, if anything, that means for him. It will be his first fight in his home state in over seven years.
Ronaldo Souza has been on the sidelines for a while waiting to erase the memory of his loss to Robert Whittaker. Whittaker also bested Brunson, so these two fighters have something in common heading into this one. Jacare was knocked out in the second round and that prompted some concerns about the 38-year-old, even though he had just beaten Tim Boetsch in the first round at UFC 208 just two months earlier.
Pick: Derek Brunson
This match is really personal to Brunson because of how he lost that first fight. You don’t want to dwell on how quickly Brunson lost. Jacare was a more advanced fighter at that point. Brunson is a big striker and has really improved his takedown defense as he has grown as a fighter. He’s definitely a live underdog here on this card and an upset shouldn’t shock anybody.
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