Johnson vs Reis
Demetrious Johnson continues his mission to exceed Anderson Silva’s record of 10 UFC title defences this Saturday in Kansas City. Johnson’s current number of defences stands at 9, which puts him level with the man many consider to be the greatest Welterweight of all time George St -Pierre.
A win this weekend would put Mighty Mouse level with the existing record, leaving him one fight away from setting a new benchmark. Johnson is the only man ever to hold the UFC Flyweight title, having won the inaugural Flyweight tournament crowning him as champion in 2012. Mighty Mouse has also held the #1 Pound for Pound position in the UFC rankings since July 2016.
Sometimes in combat sports, the least likely threat can turn out to be the most dangerous. The UFC has seen a fair few upsets in the years gone by, Serra vs GSP, Holm vs Rousey, and Dillashaw vs Barao to name a few. Therefore although much hasn’t been made of Wilson Reis who will stand opposite the pound for pound king on April 15th, he has almost nothing to lose. Reis is currently a 1/6 underdog with bookmakers and no one is giving him much of a shot. Tim Elliot who was the last man to challenge Demetrious Johnson had a few close submission attempts during the first round, he was also a heavy underdog leading into the fight. Twenty-Five potential minutes is a long time to avoid dangerous positions, In theory, all Wilson Reis needs to do is capitalise on one. A classic case of a champion putting his legacy on the line against a contender with everything to gain.
Namajunas vs Waterson
This meeting between #4 ranked Rose Namajunas and #6 ranked Michelle Waterson will thin the herd of challengers in the women’s Strawweight division. With Jessica Andrade challenging Joanna jedrzejczyk at UFC 211, #1 (Gadelha) fighting #2 (Kowalkiewicz) at UFC 212, the winner of this contest will most likely be a title eliminator away from fighting the champion.
As skilled as Namajunas is, it’s almost shocking to think she’s only had 8 fights as a professional, still very much a young fighter (24) in the early stages of her MMA career. After losing The Ultimate Fighter finale for the Strawweight belt, Namajunas was riding a 3 fight win streak before dropping a split decision loss to Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Waterson will be Rose’s first opponent since the loss, she’ll be eager to brush off the defeat and continue her ascension towards another title shot.
Waterson, on the contrary, has had 18 fights competing in Strikeforce, Invicta, and now the UFC. She is a former Atomweight (105lbs) Invicta champion. Waterson has been practising American Free Style Karate since the age of 10 in which she holds a black belt, she is also a part of the team at Jackson-Wink MMA Academy.
Main card predictions
Demetrious Johnson vs Wilson Reis (Johnson)
Rose Namajunas vs Michelle Waterson (Namajunas)
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza vs Robert Whittaker (Jacare)
Jeremy Stephens vs Renato Moicano (Stephens)