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UFC on Fox 27 Predictions: Main Card Staff Picks


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Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

The UFC will finish up a busy January with its third event of the month this Saturday, when it hosts UFC on Fox 27. Airing from Charlotte, North Carolina, the show boasts a four-fight main card capped by a middleweight showdown between Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Derek Brunson.

Souza enters the contest looking to bounce back from a loss to Robert Whittaker last April. Prior to the defeat, Souza had notched 10 wins in 11 bouts. Brunson, meanwhile, has won two in a row, including a first-round knockout of Lyoto Machida.

The full UFC on Fox 27 main card looks like this:

  • Ronaldo Souza vs. Derek Brunson
  • Dennis Bermudez vs. Andre Fili
  • Jordan Rinaldi vs. Gregor Gillespie
  • Drew Dober vs. Frank Camacho

As usual, Bleacher Report MMA has assembled to provide you with our picks for the event. Read on to get forecasts from Scott Harris, Nathan McCarter, Steven Rondina and, for the final time, Craig Amos.

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Dober is looking for his fourth win in five fights.
Dober is looking for his fourth win in five fights.Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Nathan McCarter

There are just some clear brass tacks to this fight...Drew Dober is a better fighter. Frank Camacho will post enough of a threat that it'll keep Dober honest, but ultimately, Dober should win this one going away.

Camacho's toughness makes Dober work for 15 minutes before earning the clean sweep on the cards.

Dober, unanimous decision

     

Scott Harris

This is a fun matchup between two willing brawlers. Camacho is tough as nails and does have a ground game. This is a pick-em fight among oddsmakers.

Here's guessing Camacho, with a little extra motivation to earn and keep his $50,000 performance bonus this time, outscores Dober in a rip-snorter.

Camacho, unanimous decision

     

Steven Rondina

I'm not going to say that Dober is an elite lightweight or anything...but he doesn't lose to bums. Unless his opponent is a well-known commodity, I'm going to pick him more often than not, and I just haven't seen enough out of Camacho to take him over Dober at this point.

Dober, unanimous decision

       

Craig Amos

Dober is a little more well-rounded, so he has the skills to rely on if things aren't working out on the feet. That may well prove to be decisive in what looks like a competitive matchup on paper.

Dober, unanimous decision

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The UFC is giving Gillespie a platform.
The UFC is giving Gillespie a platform.Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Nathan McCarter

Gregor Gillespie is a heavy favorite in this fight against Jordan Rinaldi for good reason. I'm not going to overanalyze it past that. Expect the showcase bout to pay off with a big win.

Gillespie, TKO, Rd. 1

     

Scott Harris

With Tom Duquesnoy coming off a loss, Gillespie might be the hottest prospect on the UFC roster at the moment. He'll power Rinaldi to the ground and then power him out of the cage.

Gillespie, TKO, Rd. 2

     

Steven Rondina

Gillespie is an NCAA Division I All-American wrestler. Rinaldi is a good-but-not-great lightweight. We've seen this fight before. A bunch of times. We know how this one's going to go.

Gillespie, unanimous decision

     

Craig Amos

As our collective confidence indicates, this one is a pretty close to a gimme. Gillespie is simply a better fighter. The point of the matchup isn't to see who will wins, it's for the UFC to show off Gillespie.

Gillespie, TKO, Rd. 2

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Bermudez needs to get back to his winning ways.
Bermudez needs to get back to his winning ways.Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Nathan McCarter

I was once really high on Andre Fili as a prospect, but that time has come and gone. He's still exciting at times and has excellent tools, but this is a bad matchup against a divisional mainstay. Dennis Bermudez grinds out a W.

Bermudez, unanimous decision

       

Scott Harris

Fili is really good and more well-rounded than people give him credit for. But I'm with Nathan on this one. Bermudez is just too big and too powerful.

Bermudez, unanimous decision

    

Steven Rondina

Bermudez is 2-4 over his last six, but I still believe that the Menace is a high-tier featherweight. This is where he's going to prove it, as he scores a thorough decision win over a game opponent in Fili.

Bermudez, unanimous decision

         

Craig Amos

Both guys are fun, talented and simply better than the results indicate. Bermudez wins this fight if he mixes his wrestling in, but the guy is just such a sucker for a brawl. I anticipate Fili catching and finishing him with a punch.

Fili, TKO, Rd. 2 

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Souza is not to be tested on the mat.
Souza is not to be tested on the mat.Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Nathan McCarter

This is a fun matchup and one hard to predict. Given recent performances, I'll go with Brunson. He hits like a truck, and Souza is well past his physical prime. Additionally, Brunson's wrestling should help him stay upright throughout this battle. Being unable to get Brunson to the canvas will spell doom for Jacare.

Brunson, TKO, Rd. 2

     

Scott Harris

Betting on Brunson has proved beneficial in the past, but I can't pull the trigger this time. Souza can use his kicks to keep Brunson from diving inside. With Brunson's instinct for takedowns and Jacare being Jacare, the fight will hit the ground eventually, and once there it's Souza's fight.

Souza, submission, Rd. 2

        

Steven Rondina

Jacare's loss to Robert Whittaker was a pretty big indictment of where he is in his career at this point. He's not done, but I'm not going to pick him over any legitimate top-10 fighters for the foreseeable future. And Brunson? He's a legitimate top-10 fighter.

Brunson, TKO, Rd. 2

      

Craig Amos

I think a little too much is being read into Jacare's loss to Robert Whittaker. Are we forgetting Brunson lost to Whittaker in similar fashion not longer ago. Both combatants are top-of-the-division guys, but Jacare is just a shade higher up. He earns the win with a characteristically vicious submission.

Souza, submission, Rd. 3 

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