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Jacare Souza vs. Derek Brunson headlines UFC on FOX 27

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Middleweight contenders Jacare Souza and Derek Brunson will fight at UFC on FOX 27 in North Carolina.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Brunson vs Machida Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

The UFC’s first fight card in North Carolina since 2010 now has its main event.

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported on Wednesday that middleweight contenders Derek Brunson and Ronaldo Souza will fight at UFC on FOX 27 on January 27th in Charlotte. This comes five years after they first fought under the Strikeforce banner.

Brunson (18-5) is coming off a massive first-round KO of Lyoto Machida at UFC Sao Paulo in October. The heavy-handed Brunson has scored a (T)KO stoppage in his last six wins. His road towards a title shot was temporarily halted when he was knocked out by Robert Whittaker last November, then dropped a close decision to Anderson Silva at UFC 208.

Souza (24-5, 1 NC) suffered his own KO loss to Whittaker at UFC on FOX 24 back in April. The dangerous BJJ specialist has a 7-2 record inside the Octagon, with his only other defeat coming by split decision to Yoel Romero at UFC 194. When Jacare took on Brunson back in 2012, the Brazilian knocked Brunson out cold in just 36 seconds, marking the first time he’d ever won by KO.

The current UFC rankings have Jacare at #5 and Brunson at #7.

Other fights booked for UFC on FOX 27 include Ilir Latifi vs. Ovince Saint Preux, as well as Juliana Lima against Randa Markos.