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Jacare to halt Hermansson’s rise? Get UFC on ESPN 3 tips for Saturday

Leigh Copson 26 Apr 2019
Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza (R) in action (credit:Jason Silva/Zuma Press/PA Images)

UFC on ESPN 3 predictions for Saturday, April 27. Can Jack Hermansson record the biggest win of his career when he takes on perennial middleweight title contender Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza, and will former NFL star Greg Hardy notch his first UFC victory after being disqualified in his debut earlier this year? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips for UFC on ESPN 3.

Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza v Jack Hermansson

Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo Souza has been a perennial contender in the 185lb ranks ever since he made his UFC debut back in May 2013, but after almost six years with the promotion he is yet to get a shot at the title and time is running out for the 39-year-old. Costly defeats against Yoel Romero, Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum have derailed his quest for a crack at the belt, but he recorded an impressive knockout win over former champion Chris Weidman last November and if he can follow that up with another victory against Jack Hermansson he will strengthen his calls for a long-awaited middleweight title match-up. But will ‘Jacare’ get the win?

Hermansson, a former Cage Warriors middleweight champion, has gone 6-2 since arriving in the UFC and is currently riding a three-fight win streak that has propelled him into the top 10 in the middleweight division. However, he is yet to record a truly high-profile victory that will put him in the title picture and that would all change if he was able to get the better of Hermansson on Saturday night. I do not fancy his chances though.

While ‘Jacare’ is getting up there in age and clearly nearing retirement, he does not look like a washed up fighter who is fighting past his sell-by date. In fact, he looked very impressive as he beat Weidman last time out. Souza has always been renowned for his slick submission skills, but against the former champion he showcased improved stand-up skills to win a striking battle and knock out his opponent in the third round. So when it comes to him and Hermansson you have to believe that Souza has the edge in both the stand-up game and the ground game, and that is why I am backing the Brazilian to finish off the Swede inside five rounds.

Greg Hardy v Dmitrii Smoliakov

Greg Hardy’s arrival in the UFC was hardly greeted warmly, with many critics believing the former NFL star has no place in the premier league of mixed martial arts due to previous charges of domestic violence, so when he got himself disqualified for illegally kneeing a downed opponent in his debut he gift-wrapped the headlines for sports journalists across the globe. The UFC did not take the easy way out by cutting him though and now the ex-Dallas Cowboy will get another shot at having his hand raised inside the Octagon. And he will once again do it, rather controversially, as a co-main-eventer.

Providing the opposition is Dmitrii Smoliakov – a 36-year-old Russian who has a 9-2 record with both defeats coming under the UFC banner. And let’s be really honest, Smoliakov is here to play the role of sacrificial Lamb for Hardy. I am not saying he has no chance – if he can avoid an early onslaught and drag this out his chances will improve dramatically, and if he can get Hardy down to the mat he does have some chops in the submission game. However, the simple fact is that he is there to get punched in the face and knocked out. Hardy will steamroll him inside one round and get his first UFC win on the board.

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Jacare to halt Hermansson’s rise? Get UFC on ESPN 3 tips for Saturday

UFC on ESPN 3 predictions for Saturday, April 27.

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