UFC Fight Night 36: Souza vs. CarmontSaturday, February 15 – 10:00 p.m. ET
Ronaldo Souza (19-3) vs. Francis Carmont (22-7)Middleweight bout
Line: Souza -615, Carmont +415
Ronaldo Souza will look to continue his dominating streak as he goes up against Francis Carmont Saturday at UFC Fight Night 36 in Brazil.
Souza has been on quite the tear, winning his past five matches. Not only has he won those matches, but the last four have all been first-round finishes. In his most recent bout on Sept. 4 against Yushin Okami, he delivered a vicious knockout just 2:47 in to the fight, ending with a 28-1 advantage in striking. Souza has terrific strength for a fighter in the middleweight class, and uses that strength to overpower his opponent and set up the submission. While Carmont is looking to win the match in different fashion, he has been on an even more impressive run. He has won 11 consecutive fights, and is a perfect 6-0 in the UFC. At UFC 165 on Sept. 21, Carmont did a great job of wearing his opponent Costas Philippou down, and ultimately secured the victory by decision. This is the type of matchup where both fighters have to come out and set the pace of the fight early. While Carmont is on the longer winning streak, the heavy favorite SOUZA has been absolutely dominate in his past five fights, and the Brazilian fighter will continue on with that streak on Saturday with a win in front of his home crowd.
Of Souza’s 19 career victories, he has 14 wins by submission. He also has three wins by decision and two knockout victories as part of his 13 career first-round finishes. However, the 34-year-old who fights out of Rio de Janeiro is showing an improvement in his punching ability, as his two knockout victories have occurred in his past four matches (Okami and Derek Brunson). "Jacare" Souza is now 9-1 in his past 10 bouts and will have a major advantage when it comes to grappling, as he has a takedown average of 3.83, compared to just 2.45 for Carmont. However, Carmont does a terrific job of avoiding the takedown, defending 86 percent of his opponents' takedown attempts, compared to 50% for his opponent. Right now, Souza has a lot of momentum on his side and has an opportunity to inch closer to a title bout with a win. He will need to remain focused on this fight, as Carmont has the ability to steal a victory and make a run for the belt in his own right.
The Paris-born Carmont has 10 career wins by submission, as well as six victories by knockout and six via decision. The 32-year-old Carmont has shown the ability to be on the offensive during the fight, but has the cardio to back it up. His past three victories have all been decided by the judges, but he thoroughly dominated Costas Philippou five months ago with a 29-7 striking advantage and 5-0 takedown advantage. Carmont, who is a teammate of Georges St-Pierre, has a two-inch height advantage in this bout, but both fighters are very comparable when it comes to significant strikes landed per minute (Souza 2.33, Carmont 2.15). However, Carmont is more accurate with his strikes at 47% compared to 42% for Souza. But this fight is likely going to come down to Souza’s takedown attack against Carmont’s takedown defense.