Ronaldo Souza vs. Jack Hermansson - 4/27/19 UFC on ESPN 3 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Ronaldo Souza vs. Jack Hermansson
Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 10:00 PM (BB&T Center)
The Line: Souza -166 / Hermansson +144 -- Over/Under:
Ronaldo Souza and Jack Hermansson fight Saturday during UFC on ESPN 3 at the BB&T Center.
Ronaldo Souza enters this fight with a 26-6 record and has won 54 percent of his fights by submission. Souza has won 10 of his last 13 fights and is coming off a November win over Chris Weidman. Souza is averaging 3.16 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 53 percent. Souza is averaging 1.91 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 30 percent. Souza is coming off a bloodbath of a fight in UFC 230 where both fighters traded violent strikes for three rounds until the Brazilian turned up the heat late and landed a shot toward the top of the head that produced a knockout. Souza has earned performance bonuses in six of his last nine fights and three of his last four wins have come by knockout. Souza is most known for his background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and submission wrestling, as the guy is an animal in the clinch and on the canvas, but he showed his toughness in his last fight and his ability to hang in there with his standup striking. Souza can win a physical standup fight when needed and is more than capable of eating some powerful shots and keep moving forward. Still, Souza is at his best on the ground. This will be Souza’s first career fight in Florida, his current residence.
Jack Hermansson enters this fight with a 19-4 record and has won 58 percent of his fights by knockout. Hermansson has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a March win over David Branch. Hermansson is averaging 4.90 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 56 percent. Hermansson is averaging 2.38 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 47 percent. Hermansson will have an extremely quick turnaround after beating Branch last month in 49 seconds via a guillotine choke, a fight that earned him performance of the night honors. Hermansson has now produced finishes in each of his last five victories and four of those wins have come in the first round. Hermansson has an aggressive standup approach where he’s constantly forcing the issue and throwing these strong overhand strikes that have some knockout pop. Hermansson is also a pretty successful takedown artist and has shown in back-to-back fights that he doesn’t need much time to finish the fight. With an average of nearly 2.4 takedowns per 15 minutes on the UFC level, Hermansson forces his opponent to fight his fight and usually gets the best of it when he’s able to control the pace and kind of make it ugly. Hermansson is just constant pressure and is well conditioned to where he can match that energy throughout the whole bout. This will be Hermansson’s first career fight in Florida.
These two fighters are the same height, but Hermansson has a massive 5.5 inch reach advantage with his hands and a 5.5 inch reach advantage with his legs. Souza will have to go through some strikes to make his mark, and this gives Hermansson a big advantage and a reason to consider as an underdog. The difference is Souza is the more technical, polished fighter between the two and his level of background in BJJ gives him the serious edge on the canvas. Souza has never lost a fight on the ground and his wrestling accomplishments speak for themselves. Hermansson has mentioned he’s not scared to take this fight to the canvas, but I don’t think that’s a wise move. Souza also just traded strikes with a powerful fighter in Weidman, so that provides confidence he can trade with Hermansson and his awkward style.
I like Souza to get the best of this fight.