Chris CamozziUFC on FX 8: May 18, 2013 Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil UFC Middleweight Contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (-675) Profile: Finally, after years of toiling in Strikeforce and Dream, “Jacare” Souza (17-3-1) is making his way to the Octagon. For years, it was Jacare and Gegard Mousasi as the two best unsigned talents outside the middleweight division, and now after going 7-1 in Strikeforce with his only loss coming against Luke Rockhold for his middleweight belt, he moves to the UFC to continue his path of destruction. Souza is almost like a middleweight Fabricio Werdum – only better. He holds just about every Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu championship known to man, and in recent years, he has gone from being a pure BJJ player submitting everyone in sight, to a pure martial artist with heavy hands to compliment his deadly ground game. The 33-year-old Brazilian started his career 10-1 with nine submissions in the first round, then once his competition picked up in Strikeforce, he had a bit more trouble finishing his opponents. However, in his last two outings, Souza has steamrolled Ed Herman and Derek Brunson in less than four minutes combined, due in part to his vastly improved stand-up game. UFC Middleweight Contender Chris Camozzi (+425) Profile: The notoriously hard to finish Chris Camozzi (19-5) has seen quite a bit of success in the UFC despite already being cut by the promotion once after going 2-2 during his first run. Since being welcomed back to the Octagon, Camozzi has upped his aggressiveness and has tallied a four-fight winning streak in the middleweight division, most recently edging out Nick Ring with a split-decision victory at UFC 158 on March 16. The 26-year-old already has a lot of experience and is a guy who likes to brawl, sometimes to his detriment. He has good size for the middleweight division, possesses knockout power (five TKOs in his career) and uses his striking to set up submissions when his opponent gets desperate and tries to take him to the ground. Camozzi is a purple belt in BJJ and also owns seven submission victories with a renewed sense of patience in the cage. His main weaknesses though are that faster opponents seem to have their way with him, and he is still susceptible to taking unnecessary shots. Opening UFC on FX 8 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Souza a massive -675 favorite (bet $675 to win $100) while Camozzi opened as a +425 underdog (bet $100 to win $425) at 5Dimes sportsbook. This is an extremely difficult matchup for Camozzi, who took this fight on short notice after beating Ring just two months ago. He was able to defeat Ring in his home country of Canada, but taking on Souza in his UFC debut in Brazil will be a completely different animal. “Jacare” has been absolutely dominant in his last three bouts since losing to Rockhold, although the competition is comparable to what Camozzi has faced during his winning streak in the UFC. Camozzi is seven years younger and obviously has more experience inside the Octagon with two more career wins and three additional fights overall. He has never been knocked out either, which should not be a factor against Souza, who did not score his first KO until last year. However, Souza does have 13 submission wins in his favor, and three of Camozzi’s five losses have come by choke or armbar. Camozzi is a tough fighter who has grown and improved greatly over the last couple years. You have to give him credit for agreeing to fight a much better opponent than Cezar Ferreira or Rafael Natal, two men he could have fought in this spot. But Souza should be very motivated by this opportunity to show the UFC what he can do, especially in his own backyard.


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