A look this weekend’s UFC on Fox 24 card

Updated April 14, 2017 - 10:36 pm

A breakdown of the fights on the main card of Saturday’s UFC on Fox 24 card at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., with picks from the Review-Journal’s Adam Hill and Heidi Fang:

Demetrious Johnson (25-2-1) vs. Wilson Reis (22-6)

Class: For Johnson’s flyweight title

Line: Johnson -800

Storyline: Johnson is the best all-around fighter competing. It’s fair to question the level of competition, but he has taken on all comers and dispatched every challenger. He has a chance to equal Anderson Silva’s record for most consecutive UFC title defenses should he get through Reis and there’s little reason to believe he won’t. Reis has never knocked out an opponent so the possibility of one big punch changing the complexion of the fight appears remote. While Reis is more than capable on the ground, the challenge will be getting Johnson into uncomfortable positions. He’s so consistent in everything he does and will likely go onto another victory.

Hill’s Pick: Johnson by decision

Fang’s Pick: Johnson by fourth-round knockout

Rose Namajunas (6-3) vs. Michelle Waterson (14-4)

Class: Women’s strawweight

Line: Namajunas -125

Storyline: Waterson became the division’s darling when she returned from a long layoff and spoiled a showcase bout for Paige VanZant in December. The UFC has put a big marketing push behind “The Karate Hottie” going into this fight and has high hopes for her as a fresh face in the division. Namajunas, however, will be a major step up in competition. She was on the verge of a title shot before a split-decision loss to top contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz in July and is among the most talented fighters in the division. Her athleticism and creativity on the ground may be too much for Waterson.

Hill’s Pick: Namajunas by second-round submission

Fang’s Pick: Namajunas by third-round submission

Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (24-4, 1 No Contest) vs. Robert Whittaker (18-4)

Class: Middleweight

Line: Souza -225

Storyline: Whittaker could be one of the elite contenders in the division for the next decade. Souza is at that level. Whittaker’s only chance is to stay on his feet as long as possible and land something big. Souza is one of the best submission fighters in the sport. He has honed his craft so a fight is all but over once it hits the mat. Whittaker should be able to find a rhythm when they exchange on the feet, but the fight is likely to go to the ground. It’s a lot to ask for Whittaker to try to win a fight while being so conscious of staying up.

Hill’s Pick: Souza by second-round submission

Fang’s Pick: Souza by second-round submission

Jeremy Stephens (25-13) vs. Renato Moicano (10-0-1)

Class: Featherweight

Line: Stephens -175

Storyline: Stephens is tough and has exceptional knockout power for the division. He also possesses decent enough wrestling skills to dictate the fight. Moicano is talented and improving, but isn’t overly threatening either in the standup or on the ground. While Moicano has a chance to keep the fight on the outside and attack Stephens with jabs and leg kicks, Stephens has seen it all in the sport. His losses at 145 pounds have come against the division’s elite and Moicano isn’t at that level yet.

Hill’s Pick: Stephens by second-round knockout

Fang’s Pick: Stephens by decision

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Covering the Cage: Jones, Nunes win at UFC 232
Amanda Nunes defeats Cyborg in the women's featherweight division and Jon Jones returns to UFC as the light heavyweight champion. Covering the Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill recap the UFC 232 main and co main events.
Las Vegas MMA fighter Joey Ruquet joins Copa Combate tournament
When Combate Americas' Copa Combate tournament takes place on Dec. 7, Las Vegas-based MMA fighter Joey Ruquet will step in for Gaston Reyno and compete for the $100,000 prize money in the 8-man, one night featherweight tournament.
Espino, Chiasson claim UFC contracts with wins at TUF 28 Finale
Juan Espino was crowned as the TUF heavyweight winner when he submitted Justin Frazier at the finale in Las Vegas and Macy Chiasson submitted Pannie Kianzad to become the TUF 28 women's featherweight winner.
Kamaru Usman excited for what's next after TUF 28 win
After taking a win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman says he can be ready for anything that comes next or a quick turnaround if it gets him closer to a title shot.
Dana White on what's next for Usman and the flyweight division
UFC president Dana White spoke with media after the TUF 28 Finale to discuss what's next for the flyweight division and the main event winner, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos and Usman TUF 28 media day
Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman talk about facing each other at the TUF 28 Finale at a media day leading up to the Nov. 30 contest. Their welterweight bout will serve as the main event.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like