Johnson Favored in his UFC Title Defense
- Updated: April 13, 2017
Demetrious Johnson will aim to equal a UFC record with a 10th straight successful title defense at UFC on Fox 24 on Saturday. The momentous moment will come when he puts his flyweight crown on the line against Wilson Reis as a heavy -700 betting favorite.
Mighty Mouse dominated the UFC flyweight division since claiming the title with a split decision win over Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152. He emerged victorious in his ninth defense to extend his unbeaten streak in the octagon to 12 going into Saturday night’s matchup at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.
Now just one victory shy of Anderson Silva’s record of 10 consecutive successful title defenses, Johnson is perched as the UFC’s top-ranked pound-for-pound fighter. His most recent win came in December at The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale, earning a unanimous decision win over Tim Elliott as -900 chalk. This after going the distance for a fourth time as UFC flyweight champion and a 14th time in 28 career MMA contests.
Pegged as a heavy +450 underdog in Saturday night’s main event, Reis has patiently awaited his title shot since a scheduled date with Johnson at UFC 201 was scrapped due to Johnson’s injury.
The No. 3 UFC flyweight challenger produced mixed results early on after joining the UFC four years ago. He was defeated in two of his first five fights including a unanimous decision loss to Jussier Formiga in a UFC Fight Night 67 clash listed as a dead heat on the UFC odds.
Reis has won three straight since then, most recently getting the unanimous decision against Ulka Sasaki as -600 chalk at UFC 208. However, he has not seen action beyond the third round since winning the inaugural Elite XC bantamweight crown with a five-round unanimous decision in 2008.
Namajunas Joins Favorites on the UFC Card
In other UFC on Fox 24 action, Rose Namajunas will try to rebound from a heartbreaking split decision loss to Karolina Kowalkiewicz. She takes on fellow women’s strawweight Michelle Waterson as a -150 favorite.
Namajunas’ clash with Kowalkiewicz was named Fight of the Night, but ended her three-fight win streak and dropped her UFC record to 3-2. A slim +120 underdog on Saturday, Waterson looks to follow up on her impressive first-round submission of Paige VanZant as a -120 favorite at UFC on Fox 22 by posting a third straight win.
Also on Saturday, featherweight Jeremy Stephens searches for just his third win in seven fights as he takes on Renato Moicano as -235 chalk. Meanwhile, Ronaldo Souza sports a strong -235 chalk in his middleweight clash with Robert Whittaker.
*Odds as of April 13, 2017