Francis Carmont 'happy' to play the underdog role against 'Jacare' Souza at UFC Fight Night 36

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Despite a lengthy winning streak, most people are betting against Francis Carmont heading into Saturday's fight against 'Jacare' Souza, and that's all right with Carmont

The oddsmakers don't seem to think that Francis Carmont stands much of a chance in his next fight, and Carmont, the No. 8 ranked fighter in the UFC's middleweight division seems just fine with that fact.

Carmont's (22-7) opponent in that fight, the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 36 will be Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza (19-3-0-1). Souza is on a five-fight winning streak and is 9-1 in his last ten fights. Souza's only loss was a unanimous decision defeat to Luke Rockhold in September 2011. That loss cost Souza his Strikeforce middleweight title, a title he defended once.

Souza's last fight was a first round TKO victorDespite a lengthy winning streak, most people are betting against Francis Carmont heading into Saturday's fight against 'Jacare' Souza, and that's all right with Carmonty over Yushin Okami at UFC Fight Night 28. That win left UFC president Dana White exclaiming, "No one has done that to Yushin Okami. He went out there and made it look easy, and I was blown away. Jacare is a bad dude. He is the real deal, and as soon as he's healthy we're going to get him a good fight."

The UFC matchmakers decided that Carmont was that good fight.

Carmont has quietly put together an 11 fight winning streak with six of those victories coming inside the UFC Octagon. His last win, a smothering, dominating victory over Costa Philippou was the third consecutive decision for the Tristar Gym fighter. Prior to those three decisions, Carmont had finished seven of eight bouts (5 submissions, two TKO's).

The odds on Carmont making it 12 straight wins are not good according to Bovada. The oddsmakers there have Carmont a +350 underdog to the -500 favorite Souza. Speaking to the Toronto Sun about his chances heading into Saturday's fight, Carmont said, "For me, it doesn't bother me to be the underdog. I've always actually performed better when people have kind of counted me out. I'm actually really happy going into this fight this way."

Carmont has his doubters, those that say maybe he doesn't deserve such a high ranking in the UFC's 185-pound division. A win over the No. 3 ranked Souza will go a long way toward changing the minds of those naysayers. Carmont is well aware of that fact, saying, "It's clear, I've got a great opportunity in front of me. This is my chance to stake my claim on the division."

Carmont will look to stake that claim on Saturday night in Jaragua, Brazil.

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