This is it folks. Demetrius “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will be going for his 10th title defense in Kansas City on Saturday. Arguably the pound-for-pound king of mixed martial arts, Johnson has essentially cake-walked through the flyweight division over the past several years and Wilson Reis happens to be the sacrificial lamb this weekend.
The other big favorite of the night is “Jacare” Souza, but his opponent, Robert Whittaker, is the value pick. Not only is Whittaker is an extremely powerful and talented boxer, but he has also successfully defended 93% of the takedowns attempted against him in the UFC. If Jacare cannot get this fight to the ground, he cannot implement his peerless submission game. If the fight stays on the feet, Whittaker has more than the edge. Additionally, Whittaker’s low price tag means you can stock up on the expensive fighters (e.g., see above, the Champ).
Chick fight! Chick fight! The fight between Rose Namajunes and Michelle Waterson is extremely close to call, but it’s hard to avoid rostering one of them due to the pricing for much of Saturday’s card. The Karate Hottie is the cheaper option here, and I believe the more talented fighter. Yes, Rose is the bigger and stronger one, but Waterson made the bigger and stronger PVZ look like a chump last year.
The card’s heavyweight clash pits Roy “Big Country” Nelson against the younger, taller, and more athletic Alexander Volkov. While Nelson throws one of the meanest overhands in the biz, and is notoriously difficult to finish, he has slowed considerably over the last few years. When he is unable to finish his opponent early, the fight usually turns into one-sided beating, with Big Country taking the damage. Volkov is built to do such a thing, as tall and athletic heavyweight. Look for him to weather a storm or two in round 1 before tagging Nelson for the remainder of the fight.
Arguably one of the most exciting matchups on the card is Devin Clark (you can listen to BBYK’s interview with Clark here) vs. Jake Collier. Both fighters are more than willing to engage in a firefight. Collier is the more seasoned of the two, and from what I’ve seen is also throws with higher output and more power. Collier might spend some time on his back, but his high-octane striking should seal the deal for him here.
Bobby Green and Rashid Magomedov face of on the FOX pre-lims, and this has all of the makings of a one-sided beating. Green is notorious for having boat loads of skill but no thought of how to use them. Magomedov, on the other hand, fights with a single-minded ferocity. I’m expecting Magomedov to not only land a multitude of power strikes, but also several big takedowns. Rack up those DFS points!
Blue chip prospect Tom Duquesnoy finally makes his UFC debut on the Kansas City pre-lims. His opponent doesn’t matter – all that you need to know is that the dude throws with accuracy and power and speed and …. You get the idea. First round KO in the books.