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UFC on FOX: Johnson vs Reis - Apr 15


wandshogun09

Who wins and how?   

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The UFC returns to FOX on Saturday 15th April.

 

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FOX MAIN CARD
Demetrious Johnson vs Wilson Reis - Flyweight Title

Michelle Waterson vs Rose Namajunas 

Jacare Souza vs Robert Whittaker 

Jeremy Stephens vs Renato Moicano

 

FOX PRELIMS
Roy Nelson vs Alexander Volkov 

Patrick Williams vs Tom Duquesnoy 

Bobby Green vs Rashid Magomedov 

Louis Smolka vs Tim Elliott

 

FIGHT PASS PRELIMS
Devin Clark vs Jake Collier

Anthony Smith vs Andrew Sanchez 

Aljamain Sterling vs Augusto Mendes

Zak Cummings vs Nathan Coy

Ashlee Evans-Smith vs Ketlen Vieira

 

Liking this one a lot. We've certainly had stronger FOX shows but this looks really solid to me. All four fights on the main card should be excellent and there's some quality stuff sprinkled throughout the undercard too.

 

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OK then Mighty Mouse vs Wilson Reis for the flyweight title is your main event. I know a lot of people shit on Mouse but I'm not with that. I actually have grown to become a big fan of his. You can't knock his skills but I think he's a good guy as well. He was great fun on Rogan's podcast a while back for example.

In the cage is where he really shines though, obviously. He's got a 25-2-1 record. He hasn't lost a fight since 2011 and that was a weight class higher against the best bantamweight of all time Dominick Cruz. He's never lost at flyweight. And he's absolutely rinsed the division now, beating everyone so convincingly, in some cases twice, that you can't argue he's not one of the best pound-for-pound to ever do MMA.

He's not everyone's cup of tea but I love watching him. He's like a magician in there. Whatever puzzle the opponent's style offers, he always has an answer for it. There's no real hole in his game and his intelligence as a fighter is right up there. He had probably his toughest title defence last time out against a Tim Elliott who far exceeded my, and I think everyone else's, expectations. But once again the little bastard found a way to win! If he wins this fight he'll have successfully defended his title 10 times! Equalling the current record held by Anderson Silva.

I can't see Wilson Reis giving DJ much hassle. Reis is a good fighter. He's been around forever and his grappling is off the charts. If he can somehow get hold of DJ and make it a ground fight, who knows? But I just don't see it. He's more accomplished as a grappler than Mighty Mouse for sure but the problem with fighting Johnson is he's got so many layers to his game that he can come up with gameplans that mean you never even get to use your main weapons.

 

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Michelle Waterson vs Rose Namajunas is this card's ***WAND'S ONE TO WATCH***. The battle of the Paige VanZant destroyers. This is some fight. One of those where as soon as it's announced you just know it's going to be a crazy clash of styles. Both have really creative and active striking games and they both have dangerous submissions too. Waterson is coming off the quick submission of VanZant in December, which was also on FOX. That was huge for her, especially coming off an 18 month layoff. Namajunas hasn't fought since July when she lost a split to Karolina Kowalkiewicz. This is a great matchup style-wise. And over three rounds they'll be pushing the pace even more.

 

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Jacare Souza vs Robert Whittaker. How can you not love this? Jacare is in a funny spot. For a while now he's been as deserving a title challenger as anyone but through one circumstance or another he's had to keep taking these other fights. And he's been mowing through middleweights left and right. No two ways about it, Jacare is a beast. And he's in his prime. I like this pairing though. I think Whittaker is out of his depth but one thing I like about him is he's always 100% game. He won't shy away from Jacare's rep as a killer. And Whittaker packs a punch and he's durable. You can never sleep on a guy like that. Logic says Jacare continues his march towards the title shot though.

 

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Louis Smolka vs Tim Elliott is another potential corker. Should be an exciting main card opener. These two are coming off losses but it still feels like they're both just a big win or two away from getting themselves back in the mix. Elliott unexpectedly doing so well against Mighty Mouse last time out could see him getting a rematch before long if he can link a couple of wins together. It's not like Mouse has a long line of contenders left. Smolka has more work to do but the skills are there and he's still only 25. High hopes for this fight.

 

Stuff of note on the prelims...

 

•Jeremy Stephens is a cunt but he's usually exciting to watch. Don't know much about Moicano but he's undefeated at 10-0-1 and has 2 UFC wins.

 

•Bobby Green is one of the more frustrating fighters to watch on the roster for me. He talks a good game but his fights often consist of lots of movement, taunting and talking but little in the way of entertainment unless he's getting a twatting. Hopefully Magomedov delivers one.

 

•Oh and the Williams vs Duquesnoy fight has my attention. Tom Duquesnoy sounds like a bit of a prospect. He's a 23 year old Frenchman who trains out of Greg Jackson's gym. He's 14-1 currently. The only names I recognise on his record are UK fighters Brendan Loughnane (was on TUF: The Smashes a few years back) and Ashleigh Grimshaw. But he did submit a Philpott and TKO a Savile. So he's alright by me, Duquesnoy. I seem to remember Patrick Williams looking fairly decent when I last saw him fight as well if I'm thinking of the right bloke. I have a vague recollection of him guillotining the shit out of someone in seconds.

 

That's about your lot.

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Roy Nelson vs Alexander Volkov is a late addition to this card. Like that fight actually. If for no other reason than the novelty of seeing a really fat bloke vs a really tall bloke.

 

Aljamain Sterling vs Augusto Mendes has also been added.

 

Looks a really solid card this.

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I can't see anything other than a DJ win. Even if you have a set method of beating him, he's so good that it's more than likely you won't even have a chance to utilise that gameplan. We saw exactly that in his last fight. Cejudo, the immensely accomplished wrestler takes DJ down but can't hold him down for more than 10 seconds. He tries to clinch with him, and ends up getting knocked out minutes later. He's such a fantastic fighter that he's more than comfortable fighting against any style. Even in the rare chance he does find problems, he's able to adapt like nobody else in the game. Tim Elliot had him wobbled in the first round, but he came back to comfortably take the decision. Is there anyone in MMA currently better rounded than Mighty Mouse? 

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Answer has to be no, Mighty Mouse is the man. It does start to feel like people are starting to appreciate what he's achieving too, it'a taken time but it feels like there's been a shift in momentum.

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8 hours ago, Noah Southworth said:

Some good news going into this one is that Jacare has signed a new deal with the UFC. I'm going out a limb but I'm picking Reis and Whittaker to deliver a pair of upsets. Namajunas and Waterson could go either way.

 

I found Jacare signing the 8 fight pretty fucking stupid in all honesty.

If the UFC had to fulfill that obligation it may make some sense, but they don't. 

On top of that if he goes on a huge run of wins he has bugger all negotiation position having to honour 8 fights.

 

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I hope this Moicano chap batters Jeremy Stephens to a pulp tonight. Just watched the weigh in and was once again reminded what a colossal twat 'Lil Heathen' is. 

Just for the sake of it, here's Stephens playing the role of Conor McGregor's bitch...

I'll never tire of that. 

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Oh aye, Stephens is a dickhead of massive proportions but I think he'll take the win tonight. He's still dangerous as fuck, and has power for days. He had Edgar properly teetering in their fight, and Edgar is an elite featherweight. I think it'll be just a bridge too far for Moicano at this stage of his career. 

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Well, one out of two for upset picks isn't bad. Even though Reis looked so much bigger than DJ, he never had the chance to make it count. DJ is on another level to the rest of the flyweights, and it's almost a shame that it won’t ever make a difference in making him a star to anyone outside of the hardcore aficionados. Waterson was doing well to keep Namajunas at bay with kicks, but once they locked up, I think the size and skill of Namajunas was too much. I like Waterson a lot but she needs an atomweight division if she’s really going to shine because she’s very undersized for a strawweight. Whittaker was always going to have a striking edge over Jacare, so it came down to whether Jacare could weather the storm and take Whittaker down. He could, at first, but Whittaker was good enough on the ground to get enough distance to get back up. The stoppage looked a little iffy live because Jacare wasn’t in a position where fights usually get stopped, but the referee was right there, and Jacare was on wobbly legs afterwards, so it was clearly the right call. Whittaker could get either Romero or Rockhold next, but it’ll probably be Rockhold because he’s offered to fight Whittaker in July and Romero is likely going to be willing to wait things out until he gets his shot at the title.

I was happy to see Stephens lose, and not just because he’s a dick. Stephens feels like a jobber to me and I just don’t care to see him fight. The exchange with Conor at the UFC 205 presser completely destroyed Stephens’ credibility with me. Objectively, it doesn’t make sense, especially as I know Stephens is still a good fighter, but after he made that pathetically weak comeback against Conor, it’s like all his credibility went flying out the window and it’s never coming back.

Tim Elliot and Louis Smolka had a fantastic fight. It was fifteen minutes of constant action, constant exchanges, and both fighters working at a furious pace.

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Yeah Elliott vs Smolka was tremendous. Easily one of the best flyweight fights I've seen. I like Elliott since he's returned. I was pretty indifferent to him during his previous UFC stint. I didn't watch the TUF he was on but his performance against DJ and now this excellent fight with Smolka, I'm a fan. He ditched the stupid hair/beard garden gnome look and he's looking like a legit contender now. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a rematch with Mouse before the year is out. I can't think of any standout challengers for Mouse now who'd deserve it more than Elliott. I don't know if I've ever seen a division truly cleared out as much as flyweight is right now. 

Which brings me to the main event. Mighty Mouse once again continues to school these guys. He looked outstanding. It kind of seems less impressive because his opponents are often guys who are underpromoted but these guys aren't pushovers, and DJ just mops the octagon with them time and time again. The mad thing was we all thought if Reis had any shot it'd be with his BJJ...then Johnson submits him. 

Mighty Mouse is in that mode right now where Anderson was a few years back. Where he's just so dialled in and at his peak he's head and shoulders above the competition to the point he makes it look like he's beating bums when in reality these are good fighters. 

I'm genuinely at a loss as to what's next for DJ. I think they might have to go straight to that Elliott rematch, to be honest. What else is there right now? 

Namajunas vs Waterson was good. Gutted to see Waterson lose though. She's so nice and likeable, she's like a little Big Nog or JDS (not looks wise, obviously). Seeing those fighters lose it's just shitty feeling. I think Noah's right though, she's just too small for strawweight. I've said it a few times myself. She's got the skills to compete and even win to a certain level but there comes a point where the size does matter. Even in her win over Paige VanZant she took some digs trying to get in range to grapple. And she'd have that problem against all the top girls in the division. I'd hate to see her face turned into burger by Joanna Jedrzejczyk. I don't know what she does next. I don't think there are any plans for the UFC to bring an atomweight division in either. So she'd have to go back to Invicta if she drops back down. She'll most likely stay where she is. Like I say, she's still a really good fighter and she'll hang with most of the weight class. I just don't see her ever coping with the top girls like JJ, Gadelha, Andrade, Kowalkiewicz etc. That lot can match or beat her in skills plus they'd have the size too. 

Robert Whittaker shocked me. You can never count a guy as powerful, durable and fearless as Whittaker out. But I just didn't see him being able to stop Jacare's onslaught. I must admit I saw Noah picking the upset last night and I just thought 'nah'. This was massive for Whittaker. Absolutely huge win for him. He's arrived as a legitimate top middleweight now and it puts him right in the mix. His next fight has to be a number one contender fight, doesn't it? A Rockhold, Romero, Mousasi, those are the only names that make any sense. If it wasn't for the logjam of contenders waiting in line right now you could easily give Whittaker a title shot now based of this win. But you've got Bisping vs GSP then Romero waiting to eat the winner first. 185 is fucking ridiculous. 

Jeremy Stephens can fuck off. Ha! I wasn't paying close attention to that fight so I'm not even sure I agreed with the decision but I don't care. Balls to him. 

Tom Duquesnoy had a brilliant debut after a bit of a shaky start. Seems a good guy and there's obviously bags of potential there. 

Fun show all in all. 

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That fast and fluid transition into the armbar by DJ was a thing of beauty. As wand is right to point out, he's fighting guys with legit records and accomplishments, but it's not even close. Fancy a striking match? Cool, good luck hitting him. Fancy taking it to the ground? Nice one, good luck keeping him there. It must be like nothing else facing DJ. It was a night of impressive performances, but DJ more than lived up to his P4P billing.

The co main was fun. I've always found Namajunas to be adorable, but bloody hell is she a nightmare too. Proper doing this, I thought,

I expected Jacare to end Whittaker in the first, but once Jacare couldn't establish his ground game he seemed to not have much of an answer. Indeed, 185 is a monster movie.

Luke Thomas said on his post-fight show that Helwani sent him a text that Rockhold is trying to get a fight with Whittaker at the July PPV. Yes please!

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Yeah, the comparisons to Anderson's reign are flying about today because DJ just tied the record for most title defences. But when you look at DJ, I think he's going to be an even trickier puzzle to solve than Anderson was because there's really no clear path to beat him. At least with Anderson, it was always thought that a wrestler could give him nightmares. It was always easier said than done but the blueprint was at least there going back to the Lutter and Sonnen fights and also how timid Anderson looked against grapplers like Leites and Maia. With Mouse, I just don't know where the holes are. And like with Hot Rod, even when you think you finally have answers he changes the questions. When Dodson dropped him a couple of times in their first fight everyone thought striking was the way to beat him. Hasn't worked and DJ has tightened up his standup since. Then Elliott almost catches him in a sub and he comes out in his very next fight and taps out a legit BJJ black belt champion. He's ridiculous. He evolves and improves with each fight and unlike Anderson, you won't catch him while he's fucking about showboating or taunting either. He's a real life Rubik's Cube of a fighter. 

He can be beat obviously. No-one is invincible. But I don't think he's losing at 125 anytime soon. If he's going to lose it's probably going to be if he takes a fight at a higher weight like when he lost to Cruz years ago. 

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