A pivotal middleweight rematch takes top billing at UFC on FOX 27 on Jan. 27 in Charlotte, N.C.
Jacare Souza (24-5, 1NC) and Derek Brunson (18-5) have fought once before, but there will be much more on the line when they step into the Octagon as the UFC on FOX 27 headliner. The bout was announced on UFC Tonight following multiple reports on Wednesday.
Jacare won the first match-up, knocking Brunson out just 41 seconds into the first round of their Strikeforce bout in support of a Ronda Rousey vs. Sarah Kaufmann headliner in 2012.
Jacare is now coming off of a disappointing loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC on FOX 24 on April 15 in Kansas City. That bout derailed Jacare’s run at a UFC middleweight title shot. Whittaker went on to win an interim version of the championship in his next bout.
Still ranked No. 5 in the UFC middleweight division, a victory over Brunson would quickly shuffle Jacare back into the thick of the division’s contenders.
Brunson believes that avenging his loss to Jacare would make him the next in the line for a title shot.
“I’m about to put on a show… another first-round knockout coming,” Brunson wrote on Twitter. “That’ll be 8-2 (one robbery) in my last 10 UFC fights. 8 first-round finishes. I’m next for the title shot after this one.”
A victory over Jacare would be Brunson’s third consecutive, adding on to back-to-back wins over Daniel Kelly and Lyoto Machida, both of which were first-round knockouts.