The UFC is headed to Brazil before the fall break, yet, strangely, the fearsome Brazilian home cage isn't getting much respect from the early betting market.
Among three former Brazilian UFC and Strikeforce champions, only one is a betting favorite at home in Brazil. Brazilians are facing foreign fighters in nine matchups this week, but they're favored in only three of those, with three approximate pick 'ems and three Brazilians as underdogs. Of nine home cage fights, they're expected to win only 4.8, based on current odds.
Last week in Moscow, Russians were overwhelmingly the favorites in their home cage, but they came up short, winning only four of their 11 matchups. Maybe the matchmakers are finished doing favors for the Brazil fans, or the intimidation edge has finally run out. Or, perhaps, there's opportunity to back some home fighters.
Saturday's prelims from Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo begin at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+, with the main card starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Here is where I see some betting value on the card.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook, as of Wednesday.
Light heavyweight: No. 6 Jan Blachowicz (-200) vs. Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (+170)
With a submission game that altered every opponent's fight plan, Jacare Souza used to be one of the most feared fighters in the world. Now, riding a hit-or-miss streak and moving up to light heavyweight one month shy of his 40th birthday, he's no longer the lock he was during the first half of the decade.