UFC on Fox 24 - Another Victim For Mighty Mouse?

Date: Sunday 16th April (1am BST)

Location: Kansas City, Missouri

Venue: Sprint Center

The UFC have really made an effort with this card which will be aired on Fox. This is pay-per-view quality, stacked from the bottom and topped by none other than the pound-for-pound king of MMA – Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson.

Completely on his own level in the flyweight division, Mighty Mouse is desperate for competition – which to be honest, is the weakest men’s division in the UFC. That said, Johnson has proven himself with an unprecedented and complete skill set, making top-ranked fighters look average at best. Looking to shock the world, Wilson Reis has stepped up as the next challenger with many thinking he will just fall as another victim of the undisputed champion.

However, Reis is a beast and one of the most experienced Flyweights on the roster. He is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with exceptional grappling skills and will be a serious threat to Johnson’s belt and record number of title defences. Johnson proudly sits on 9 title defences and will equal Anderson Silva’s record with a win over Reis.

Many believe that Johnson is worthy of ‘pound-for-pound’ status and it is hard to argue that he mixes his skills up as good as any fighter that has graced the octagon. He combines strikes with takedowns and takedowns with submissions at such ferocious pace his opponents almost look helpless in the cage, but when it comes to the scramble, Johnson will have to be wary of Reis as he will be hunting his back from the start, only needing the slightest of openings to wrap up a choke to clinically finish the fight.

Johnson did not look as convincing in his last fight against Tim Elliott which will give Reis hope, but the accolade of the record number of title defences could motivate Johnson to produce a virtuoso performance. 

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Johnson vs Reis

The co-main event features Rose Namajunas vs Michelle Waterson – two fighters who are hunting a shot at Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s strawweight title. Both ladies are extremely well-rounded and are constantly growing as Mixed Martial Artists. Waterson is undefeated in the UFC and gained a lot of respect when she dominated Paige VanZant in her last fight, but that was only after Namajunas did exactly the same, so on paper this should be a very even contest. Both are black belts in Karate but Namajunas has the height and reach advantage which may force Waterson to utilise her superior wrestling. This fight is close to call but any kind of win is likely to earn the victor a title shot. 

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Namajunas v Waterson

The next fight features two more title hopefuls, but this time for the men’s middleweight championship in a titanic clash between Ronaldo Souza and Robert Whittaker. The middleweight division is saturated with some of the best talent in the UFC, with a queue of fighters lining up for Michael Bisping’s belt. Souza is right at the front of that queue along with Yoel Romero and Luke Rockhold, however, they will have to stand in line even longer as Georges St. Pierre has been gifted a title shot on his comeback. Souza will be wondering what he has to do to earn a shot as he has been fed another killer in the form of Whittaker to pass the time. Whittaker has been on fire himself, winning his last six fights but should be worried about Souza’s elite ground skills. Souza is arguably the best practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in MMA so Whittaker will rely on his own skills as a black belt in Karate to keep the distance, darting in and out of range to pick Souza off with power strikes. This is such an exciting match-up with everything to gain for Whittaker and everything to lose for Souza. 

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Souza vs Whittaker

The final fight on the main card is at featherweight between Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano. A fan-favourite, Stephens is a UFC veteran with spectacular wins against the likes of Dennis Bermudez and Renan Barao, but he has been handed a difficult challenge in the form of Moicano who hasn’t yet tasted a loss in his career. He has had two fights in the UFC but is still relatively unproven but a win against Stephens will get everyone paying attention. An odd fight for Stephens to take but the best opportunity Moicano could hope for at this stage of his career. 

See below for a statistical breakdown:

Stephens v Moicano