Written by Chris Monti•
The Main Event: UFC Fight Night 164
Last time out at UFC Fight Night 163, we saw a single upset as Danny Roberts knocked out Imadaev in front of his home crowd. The Russians did not disappoint in the main and co-main events, with both Magomedsharipov and Volkov recording well-deserved victories.
Now our attention turns to this weekend’s event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is a special place for some of the all-time greats in the UFC. Let’s get into those battles now and give you our predictions for who will come out on top at the end of the night.
Main Event: Jan Blachowicz (-200) vs. Ronaldo Souza (+160)
Jan Blachowicz comes into this one as the favorite against underdog Ronaldo Souza. In his last fight, the Polish light heavyweight knocked out Luke Rockhold in the second round. He is a physical monster of a human, and his 24-8 record is a testament to his all-round MMA ability. Blachowicz has twenty-four wins under his belt in the UFC to date, with eight defeats in the balance. At 36-years of age, he has a slight advantage in years on his illustrious opponent.
Ronaldo Souza is known for his grappling and mat-work in the UFC and is a veteran in the Octagon. He is shorter, has less reach, and is much lighter than the man he faces, so getting down and dirty early on will be the key if he is to have any chance of pulling off an upset. The Brazilian lost his last fight, and you have to go back to 2018 to find his previous success when he faced Chris Weidman. Can he take it to the ground and win this one by submission?
Co-Main: Maurício Rua (-270) vs. Paul Craig (+210)
Rua is another man who will have the Sao Paulo crowd behind him this Saturday as he looks to add a 27th career win. He has been fighting since back in 2002 and will be relishing this opportunity to compete on home turf once more before he retires from the game. Last time out, he knocked out Tyson Pedro in the third round, so this man still has that explosive touch. Rua has lost eleven times so far, though, so it could be a chance for Craig to make some history.
The Scottish former BAMMA light heavyweight Champion is not the kind of opponent to be taken lightly, and he has the ability to destroy Rua if they have to fight on their feet. He won his last fight by submission, so he knows his way around the mat, too. The Bearjew is five years younger than his assailant, and although he has the height advantage, there is no difference in reach.
Co-Main:Charles Oliveira (-360) vs. Jared Gordon (+270)
Do Bronx is another Brazilian in this homecoming lineup, and this man is the hot favorite to take a glorious victory in this battle. He has won every single one of his last five appearances, and the Brazilian lightweight is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC today. He joined the UFC back in 2010, and since then, he has picked up 27 wins and eight defeats. That’s a decent record, and we can’t wait to see him in action once again.
Gordon is a New Yorker, and he travels down to Brazil seeking an upset in his favor. He comes into this one as the underdog, but we know he has the capability and mentality to win a fight, if he turns up in his best form. He is older than the man he faces, but in terms of UFC experience, he is by far his junior. This is what makes this battle a tough one to call. There’s only one way to find out what will happen, and that’s by tuning in on Saturday.
Prediction: Oliviera to take the win in the second by knockout
This weekend the UFC is once again bringing us the best fighting action the globe has to offer. Will the Brazilian factor help some of the home fighters take a victory or two? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure, it’s going to be breakneck action all night long. Be sure to keep an eye on those odds as the event approaches, and get behind our picks for the bout winners. Stay up to date with all the UFC predictions here with Bet Today USA.