UFC On FOX 24 takes place tomorrow night in Kansas City and we’ve got our predictions for all the fights below.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Wilson Reis
Such is Demetrious Johnson’s dominance in the flyweight division that it’s now challenging for the UFC to find someone to pit against him who he’s not already beaten, and that’s how Reis has been pushed to the forefront even although he’s only fought one top-10 contender during his current three-fight winning streak.
Reis is a decent striker, an excellent wrestler and also possesses a credible submission threat too. That’a s nice selection of skills to have, but the problem is he’s going up against arguably the most well-rounded fighter in the sport.
Johnson’s ability to transition effortlessly between MMA’s different aspects while consistently operating at an elite level is a pleasure to watch, and combined with not only his speed of foot, but the swiftness with which he’s able to adapt to what his opponent is doing makes him extremely difficult to beat.
Johnson is also a master of the five-round fight, being that he’s just as fresh and dangerous in the final minutes of the fight as we was in the first, and I think his speed, superior cardio and a skill-set that can adapt to any situation will ensure that he emerges with a decision victory on Saturday night.
Demetrious Johnson to win by decision.
Rose Namajunas vs. Michelle Waterson
This is a very intriguing woman’s strawweight bout between two skilled fighters who the UFC would be only too happy to push as title contenders.
At heart Namajunas is an offensively minded fighter who loves to throw caution to the wind in pursuit of a finish. However, it’s clear she’s worked hard with her coaches to stifle those instincts and fight in a more controlled manner, which has helped shore up some of her defensive liabilities, but has also dampened a little of her creative spark and momentum.
Nonethless, she’s still a good striker who moves well, but excels most on the mat where she’s extremely crafty and provides a serious submission threat.
Waterson is a technical striker first and foremost, with her kicking game being a notable strong point, but as you might expect from someone who’s been competing professionally for over a decade she’s also developed a solid ground game too.
This is a close, competitive fight, but I’m leaning a little towards Namajunas who is more naturally suited to the weight class and has a slight height and reach advantage, together with the more dangerous submission game that I think may catch out ‘The Karate Hottie’.
Rose Namajunas to win by submission in Rd2.
Ronaldo Souza vs. Robert Whittaker
‘Jacare’ continues to remain just out of arms reach of a title shot and so he’s now forced to take a challenging match-up with the in-form Whittaker to retain his place in the 185lb queue.
‘Jacare’ will always be recognized primarily for being one of the world’s best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu players, but his striking game has developed nicely over the years too, and together with his athleticism and strength that makes for a potent combination.
It’s just as well that Souza has worked diligently on beefing up his striking as the younger man, Whittaker has very good takedown defense and is a real handful on the feet, pushing a hard pace, staying mobile and putting together fast, hurtful combinations of punches.
The UFC have thrown a potential banana peel in front of ‘Jacare’ here as if Whittaker can keep the fight standing he can present big problems for the Brazilian. If ‘Jacare’ can doggedly stick to his task of getting this fight to the ground though, I think he will eventually be able to do so and at that stage the fight will swing firmly in his favor, leading to a submission finish.
Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza to win by submission in Rd2.
Renato Moicano vs. Jeremy Stephens
After fighting a who’s who of featherweight talent in recent times, Stephens gets a fight against a less known, but still worthy adversary in the undefeated Brazilian, Moicano.
Stephens will be hoping to keep this one standing as Moicano’s biggest strength comes from submissions, and I think his takedown defense will hold out enough to do that.
The Brazilian is capable on the feet too, but there are gaps in his defense and I think Stephens will be able to land the harder shots over the course of three competitive rounds in order to edge a decision victory.
Jeremy Stephens to win by decision.
Prelims: (Predicted winners in bold)
Roy Nelson vs. Alexander Volkov
Tom Duquesnoy vs. Patrick Williams
Bobby Green vs. Rashid Magomedov
Tim Elliott vs. Louis Smolka
Devin Clark vs. Jake Collier
Andrew Sanchez vs. Trevor Smith
Aljamain Sterling vs. Augusto Mendes
Nathan Coy vs. Zak Cummings
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Ketlen Vieira