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El Paisano

UFC Fight Night: Florida Brings Middlewight Duel

David Ibarra, Reporter

Jacare Souza and Jack Hermansson will meet in the main event this Saturday live from Sunrise, Florida. Two middleweights known for their durability and their ability to finish fights will try to prove they belong in title contention conversations. The event, live from the BB&T Center, kicks off at 2:30 p.m. PST on ESPN2 leading up to the main card at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.

Souza was slated to take on middleweight powerhouse Yoel Romero this upcoming Saturday until Romero pulled out with an illness. After a fight that ended in a 49-second submission win in late March, Hermansson found himself available. It would eventually become official in early April that the two surging middleweights would face off against each other. Souza has announced that with a win, the UFC will guarantee him a title shot. The Brazilian fighter has always found himself within arms reach of a title shot since he debuted in the UFC in 2013, but has always fell short. On Saturday, he hopes to prove, at the age of 39, he is still capable of competing for a title.

Souza enters fight week with a win over former middleweight title holder Chris Weidman. The fight was evenly matched throughout, until Souza connected with a strike that put Weidman out in the third round. It was an impressive victory that showed Souza’s ability to bounce back and compete against a former champion.

Hermansson has became a problem for UFC middleweights over his last 3 years within the company. Since his debut in 2016, ‘The Joker’ is 6-foot-2-inches and is currently riding a three fight win streak, all by stoppages. The momentum seems to favor Hermansson, who is nine years younger. But most fans have come to admire Souza, who still very much seems capable of competing for a title. Both fighters are skilled all around so expect a variety of grappling and striking.

Also on the card, the ever-polarizing heavyweight Greg Hardy takes on Dmitry Smoliakov. Hardy, a former football player, looks to right his wrongs after suffering a DQ loss in his last bout for an illegal knee while Smoliakov looks to make it two in a row.

The rest of the card features fan-favorite stars like Mike Perry, Alex Olivera, John Lineker and Cory Sandhagen. It is a stacked card and offers the possibility for an abundance of spectacular performances.

Tune in this Saturday for UFC Fight Night live on ESPN+.

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UFC Fight Night: Florida Brings Middlewight Duel