Insight the Octagon: Jacare vs The Joker from Florida

By Lou Finocchiaro  () 

The UFC makes a return to Florida when it visits Ft. Lauderdale Saturday for Fight Night on ESPN 9. The main event on this card has played like a game of musical chairs with injuries and replacement fighters stepping in on short notice being the overriding theme.

Last week, I correctly predicted Alistair Overeem to be a worthy favorite in St. Petersburg and this week I am afraid we have another chalky main event situation. In this case, a grizzled world-class veteran meets a well less equip fighter blind with ambition.


Jacare Souza is a renowned master of BJJ who has supplemented his vast BJJ acumen with Muay Thai, Judo, Submission wrestling and most recently an improved striking game. I consider Souza a ‘tweener’ in that everyone ranked lower than he feels his age (39) may be affecting his quickness and skills while those ranked higher than he want little part of such a diverse, dangerous fighting machine.

Souza’s career is stacked with fights against every form of high level world class talented mixed martial artist and while his window is clearly narrowing his drive to compete for a championship belt is palpable and with a victory here he stands likely to be able to compete for one. Ain’t no way Jacare’ is overlooking ‘the Joker’ here.

Hermansson, on the other hand, is well less decorated, less versed and less experienced. He prides himself as a ‘ground and pound’ specialist and though he sports a substantial 5-inch reach advantage in this fight, he is claiming to want to take this fight against ‘Jacare” (alligator in Portuguese) to the floor. This seems to me to be either a foil or a downright fib for if Hermansson chooses to fight Jacare’ at his strength then we’ll be able to question his fight IQ also.

Hermansson’s level of past competition is shallow. He has faced fighters who were either past their prime or simply lacking high-level MMA skills. He steps in for this fight on short notice and though this is a huge opportunity for him, looking impressive against a guy who’s as slow as a glacier in David Branch (Hermansson’s last victim) is a far cry from trying to compete against a fighter with the skill level and experience not to mention singlemindedness of purpose that Jacare’ enters with.

Souza opened -175 and is now -195, which is more than fair considering the above and the fact that he is fighting in Florida, where he trains and lives. Later in the week, the props and totals will come out, but the ‘Makers are not fools folks. We’ll get little extra value on Souza ITD (Inside the Distance) when those props do break.

It’s early, but I’ll commit to Souza now. Rather than lay the -195, I’ll set him up as leg one of a two-team parlay with the second leg to remain open. That way the expenditure is a simple one-unit wager.

Souza -195 (open ended parlay part 1)

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