Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

Mike Drahota:

This is a great middleweight main event with a backstory. I think the fight will be competitive, with Mousasi possessing world-class striking and an underrated ground game. Despite his winning of their first match-up, however, Souza has taken his game to an al-new level in the six years since. “Jacare” brings the trump card of his fight-changing power, and he’s obviously one of the most dangerous mat wizards in the game. Mousasi has looked great in UFC; Souza has looked unstoppable. I expect him to drag Mousasi down and control him on the mat this Friday night. My pick is “Jacare” by unanimous decision.

Rory Kernaghan:

UFC Fight Night 50’s main event is all about timing in my opinion. Both fighters are talented and well rounded, but it is “Jacare” who seems to be entering his prime right now. The raw power and physicality that Souza possesses might mean that Mousasi wants to take him down, but that may not be wise against a decorated submission specialist like “Jacare”. For me, the Brazilian simply has too much for “The Dreamcatcher”. I’m going out on a limb, and picking Jacare for the KO in the second round.

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Buster Evans:

In my opinion, tomorrow night’s main event is nowhere near as close as it is being billed to be. Ronaldo Souza is unquestionably one of the toughest fighters in the middleweight division with his world class Brazilian jiu-jitsu and his heavy hands to go with it. But with that said, he’s not even on the same level as Gegard Mousasi, who is one of the best strikers in the weight class. “The Dreamcatcher” can also hold his own on the ground with ten submission victories to his name. Mousasi’s takedown defense has also dramatically improved recently as we saw in his last bout with Mark Munoz. Add to that the fact that Souza is returning from elbow surgery and the result doesn’t look so good for “Jacare.” Expect Mousasi to push the pace early in this fight to earn a first round stoppage over the Brazilian. Mousasi by TKO, round one.

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Mike Henken:

Both fighters have evolved immensely since their 2008 Dream 6 match-up in which Mousasi won via upkick. With that being said, I don’t think the outcome of their rematch will be the same as their first. Mousasi is known for his striking and kickboxing skills. He also has an improving ground game. “Jacare,” on the other hand, may have the very best Brazilian jiu-jitsu game in all of MMA and has been improving his striking arsenal. The here winner could put himself at the top of the middleweight title contender list. It’s a difficult one to pick because of how similar these fighters are and how good each man is. However, I think “Jacare” has looked a bit more impressive in the UFC. Despite Mousasi’s improvements to his ground attack, Souza has the clear advantage there. I’m not completely sold on this one, but I’m going to go with “Jacare” by unanimous decision.

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Photo: Jason Silva for USA TODAY Sports

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