Ronaldo Souza is heading to UFC 208 on Saturday as the UFC betting favorite to defeat Tim Boetsch in their middleweight bout. Here are the odds for people who like to bet on UFC:
Tim Boetsch – 1½ (+105) +400
Ronaldo Souza – 1½ (-125) -500
The announcement that No. 3 Souza took a fight with No. 13 Boetsch has rubbed fans and pundits alike the wrong way. As Jackie Chiles would say, it’s outrageous, egregious, preposterous. There is a perfectly good explanation, though. Jacare told MMA Fighting that he “won’t run after a p****” anymore. Did he just come out? Nope; the p**** in question is current UFC Middleweight Champion Mike Bisping who, according to Souza, “wants to fight anyone but the top contenders” in the division and “became champion by accident.” How does that even happen? Is it like when Bart made Nelson bleed his own blood? Additionally, the Brazilian hoped to avenge his 2011’s loss to Luke Rockhold, but their Fight Night 101 rematch was cancelled on November 26th after the latter torn his left knee ACL. An injury that Jacare says Rockhold is feigning because he “is afraid” and thus he “chickened out” of their fight. All things considered, Souza is happy to “have an opponent and a fight” in Boetsch because “fighters that stayed inactive for a long time don’t do well in the end.” Everybody got all of that? Good.
Even though Souza has not set foot inside the cage since May of last year, he remains the heavy UFC betting favorite for fans who bet on UFC on Saturday. Boetsch snapped a three-fight losing streak with back-to-back wins against Josh Samman and Rafael Natal (not to be confused with Rafael Nadal, though not many people would mind seeing him take a beating). The Barbarian is something of a comeback kid and actually tends to perform better when the odds are stacked against him – he’s 5-2 as an UFC betting underdog, and 1-4 when he’s a favorite. What’s more, Boetsch has absolutely nothing to lose while Souza has precious little to gain, even if he wins, other than presumably making ends meet. A simple win would not be enough to put Jacare ahead of Yoel Romero, the current number 1 middleweight title contender. Souza would have to do something really special, like perform a Mortal Kombat fatality on the Barbarian. And then there is always the possibility that Boetsch pulls off the UFC betting upset. It would not be the first time a small time fighter gets a shot at the big time and comes out on top – though fans who bet on UFC would have to wait until the sequel for that. Souza is aware of Boetsch’s potential, though. “My opponent is trouble,” the Brazilian said. “He has a very hard hand.” Just like Hellboy. “It can make it difficult for any opponent. His hook makes it tough. He’s very strong and his wrestling is very good, as well. So to sum it all up, he’s trouble.”