The Ultimate Fighting Championship is set to make their debut in Kansas City, with an event headlined by arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the sport today and perhaps a man who can easily be labeled as the perfect mixed martial artist: Demetrious Johnson (25-2-1).
The Flyweight Champion will defend his title vs. fellow twenty eight fight veteran Wilson Reis (22-6) with ten submissions on his resume. But the Brazilian will be hard pressed to secure a tap out from the champion, as “Mighty Mouse” has never been submitted. He’s also never been knocked out, so if history will show us anything, it will be that Wilson will have earn 3 of the 5 rounds to emerge victorious.
Now, this is MMA, so anything can happen and a submission over DJ is not impossible. If you are willing to take that kind of risk, you can get Reis via tap out for +1200. But the best value is likely looking at the way Johnson can pull off a victory. Picking him straight up is too risky, as he’s currently a -840 favorite.
The champ is dangerous from the opening bell all the way until the final second of a bout. Let’s not forget that he submitted Kyoji Horiguchi with an armbar with just one second left in their bout at UFC 186. That’s an incredible feat to pull off … 24 minutes and 59 seconds, and Johnson was still working for a finish … and he got it.
If you think he can stop Reis before the final buzzer, your options are +150 for a T/KO and/or +400 by submission. Don’t be surprised if he pulls off the latter.
In the co-main event, we have the public seemingly showing some love for Michelle Waterson (+105) vs. Rose Namajunas (-125), but I’m not sure I agree with this number. I think there should be a wider gap here, with Rose being more of a favorite.
Scroll through her most recent fights and what you will find is a top contender at 115 lbs and definitely a force to be reckoned with. Take nothing away from “The Karate Hottie”, as she definitely shows up vs. anyone they put in front of her, but come Saturday night, she will have her work cut out for her.
Will I be surprised if she pulls of a finish? No. And if you believe she can do it, you can get the tap out prop at +400. More realistic to me though is Namajunas earning a T/KO (+800) and that right there is the definition of a fun bet.
Now, the bout that I am looking most forward to on this card is the middleweight contender bout between Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza (-165) and Robert Whittaker (+155). Much to my personal surprise, these odds are closing in on each other, despite my personal belief that Souza is on a different level than Whittaker. Robert is a bad man, but ‘Jacare’ is quite frankly, a bad mofo and can easily be the champion in this division.
If I’m ever going to write about two fun bets that are strictly on the surface, with no profound analysis, it’s these two right here: Souza via submission (+138) and/or Whittaker via T/KO (+450). Personally, I’d take the former prop over the latter.
In looking at the rest of the card, here are a few more options to consider:
Jeremy Stephens over Renato Moicano via T/KO at +150
Roy Nelson via T/KO over Alexander Volkov at +200
Timothy Elliot wins inside the distance vs. Louis Smolka at +168
As always, I welcome your thoughts regarding your own fun bets for a UFC event. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter, Instagram or on Facebook using @ShowdownJoe with your thoughts.