CURRENT RECORD: 66-37-1
This weekend the UFC makes its way to Kansas City for UFC on Fox 24. Headlining this star studded card is a flyweight title fight between the champion and pound for pound king, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and the number four ranked Wilson Reis. This will mark Johnson’s tenth defence of his title and victory here will help him equal the record for most title defences currently held by the great Anderson Silva. In the co-main event, two of the best women in the strawweight division go head to head as Rose “Thug” Namajunas takes on “The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson. Elsewhere on the card there are stellar match ups between; “Jacare” Souza and Robert Whittaker, Tim Elliot and Louis Smolka, Roy Nelson takes on Alexander Volkov and there is a UFC debut for top French prospect Tom Duquesnoy as he takes on Patrick Williams in a bantamweight clash. Another great night of fight not to be missed, so be sure to tune in so you don’t miss out.
As always, I will now break down all the main card fights, give my predictions and of course, put my own “Armchair Expert” title on the line.
DEMETRIOUS JOHNSON vs. WILSON REIS
What is there left to be said about Demetrious Johnson? He is an exceptional athlete in every sense of the word. He is physically and mentally at his peak and his overall game has virtually no holes; he is the pound for pound king for a reason. What makes Johnson stand out further is that he is not driven by money; he is driven by his legacy. “Mighty Mouse” will be more determined than ever to ensure his name enters the record books on Saturday night. Looking to prevent that and create his own legacy is Wilson Reis. The dangerous Brazilian is a man on a mission; eager to become only the second ever UFC flyweight champion. Reis is a super grappler and has a keen eye for a submission, making ten previous opponents tap. The question mark surrounding this fight will be Reis’ ability to last the five rounds and can he keep up with the thunderous pace that Johnson sets. Looking at the current challengers in the flyweight division, I really can’t see any of them toppling Johnson; Reis will give it a good go but ultimately he will come up short.
Johnson by decision.
ROSE NAMAJUNAS vs. MICHELLE WATERSON
After suffering back to back loses in 2012, Rose Namajunas looked to have turned a corner when beating Angela Hill, Paige Van Zant and Tecia Torres consecutively. However, she couldn’t make it four in a row last time out, dropping a split decision to Karolina Kowalkiewicz. “Thug” has potential in abundance and the heart of a warrior; she constantly comes forward and enjoys getting in her opponents face. Michelle Waterson made it two for two under the UFC banner when she beat Paige Van Zant inside one round in December last. The former Invicta atomweight champion is a vastly experienced competitor having built up a record of 14-4, only suffering one defeat in the past seven years. This contest pins two of the brightest fighters in the division against one another. What makes this an exciting matchup is no matter where this fight takes place both women will still look comfortable and be just as dangerous. I think “The Karate Hottie” holds the slight edge all round over Namajunas and I think she will find a way to sink in a submission of some sort and finish this early.
Waterson by submission.
RONALDO SOUZA vs. ROBERT WHITTAKER
Since making the step up to middleweight Robert Whittaker has really excelled. He is currently undefeated at 185lb, winning all five contests thus far. He has looked sharper and fought smarter since making the jump and it all culminated in a very impressive stoppage victory last time out against Derek Brunson. “Jacare” Souza has been a man on a mission for a while, desperate for a title shot but refusing to sit back and wait. “Jacare” has only lost once since 2012 and he knows, at his current rate, if he keeps ticking of the other contenders then it will leave the UFC with no option but to hand him a title shot. The risk this strategy has is if he were to lose he would end up at the bottom of the pile and this risk is quite relevant against Robert Whittaker. The New Zealand native has fine-tuned his striking and his movement; he is so quick that he could cause “Jacare” trouble in the stand up. But Souza is so talented on the mat that once he gets you down it’s near impossible to get back up. I expect the fight to work out this way and Souza to grind Whittaker down and trap him in a submission.
Souza by submission.
JEREMY STEPHENS vs. RENATO MOICANO
Jeremy Stephens has always been in and around the top of the rankings but never manged to overstep that mark to lay claim to a crack at the champion. Stephens’s problem is that he has been too inconsistent over the years, his last six fights has seen him go 2-4. Although those losses came against top opposition, his stumbling block has always been fighters avoiding his haymaker. This will mark Renato Moicano’s third trip to the Octagon for the undefeated Brazilian. Having spent the majority of his career on the local circuit, Moicano answered the UFC call in 2014 and beat Tom Niinimaki by submission in his debut. It would be 18 months before he fought again due to injury but he bounced back with a fine decision victory over Zubaira Tukhugov at UFC 198. Moicano is a splendid submission fighter and has claimed five rear naked choke victories in his short career. This fight comes down to two things; Stephens love to stand and bang and Moicano wanting to get the fight to the floor. I thing Stephens takedown defence should hold up here and he will be able to out point Moicano on the feet to claim a decision victory.
Stephens by decision.
Best of the Rest.
Alexander Volkov vs. Roy Nelson
Nelson to win.
Patrick Williams vs. Tom Duquesnoy
Duquesnoy to win.
Bobby Green vs. Rashid Magomedov
Magomedov to win.
Tim Elliot vs. Louis Smolka
Smolka to win.
Devin Clark vs. Jake Collier
Clark to win.
Anthony Smith vs. Andrew Sanchez
Sanchez to win.
Aljamain Sterling vs. Augusto Mendes
Sterling to win.
Zak Cummings vs. Nathan Coy
Cummings to win.
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Ketlen Vieira
Vieira to win.
Bet of the Day.
The adventurous bet: all 13 predictions in an accumulator is about 478/1.
The inbetweener bet: Cummings, Sterling, Smolka, Duquesnoy and Souza to win is 9/1.
The conservative bet: Louis Smolka to win at 2/1.
Don’t forget to keep updated on all things “Ultimate Fight Chat” by liking and following all the links on the homepage.
And remember “Ultimate Fight Chat- A Guide to Becoming an Armchair Expert” is FREE to download from here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/645687