UFC Sao Paulo Fight Night 164: Betting Odds, Tips & Analysis
UFC returns to Sao Paulo for UFC Fight Night 164 on Saturday. The main event features something of a recurring theme this year with elite middleweight contenders moving up to light heavyweight to take on veteran fighters.
In the main event in Brazil, arguably the best fighter to have never fought for a UFC title, Jacare Souza, bounces up to 205 pounds to take on top-10 mainstay Jan Blachowicz. The winner will be right in the thick of things for a title shot, so let’s discuss who you should back in UFC betting.
Jan Blachowicz vs. Jacare Souza
Jan Blachowicz is the quintessential jack of all trades, but master of none. A good-but-not-great striker with a fundamental grappling game, Blachowicz can compete in every phase but lacks the dynamism be truly threatening as a finisher.
Instead, Blachowicz relies on outworking his opponents and has historically fallen short against fighters who were either vastly superior athletes, or more diverse boxers and wrestlers.
Jacare Souza is one such superior athlete, or at least, he used to be. A former world-champion grappler, Souza is an explosive takedown artist with legitimate one-shot KO power. It’s a potent combination but one that also perhaps served as somewhat of a crutch for Souza.
Nearing 40, Souza’s athleticism is in stark decline and his recent performances have seen him struggle without a fundamental striking game to fall back on. A move up to 205 pounds could alleviate some of his woes though, as the division is not populated with elite athletes at the moment.
Prediction And Best Bet
Blachowicz has a bit of experience welcoming lighter fighters to the 205-pound weight class, knocking out former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold in his most recent fight. He’ll look to do the same here and there’s a decent chance he’ll be successful.
In the last few years, Blachowicz has really been coming into his own, while Jacare is fading noticeably. The struggle for Blachowicz has always been competing against superior athletes and though Jacare would have certainly been that at one time, it is no longer the case.
Blachowicz is a good enough wrestler to keep Jacare off him and I expect him to outwork Jacare over the course of five rounds. FanDuel currently has Blachowicz installed as a -205 favorite and I like those odds for a bet.