Demetrious Johnson cemented his place as the greatest UFC champ of all time, but let’s not forget all the potential future champions we saw at UFC on FOX 24 from Kansas City, Missouri.
UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Reis went down from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri in front of an excellent crowd of 12,000 screaming fans, and it was hard not to feel the energy at home as fight after fight delivered the kind of action that turns a casual channel surfer into a follower of the sport. For a night without much controversy, there’s a lot to unpack and gush about. So let’s get right to it!
The Dominance Of A Champion
Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson continues to prove why he deserves the title of pound for pound greatest fighter in the sport … at least while Jon Jones continues to shoot himself in the foot. The only gripe you can make, and this is a strange one when you think about it, is he almost makes it look too easy. Based on how he dismantled Wilson Reis on Saturday night in Kansas City, you might say he’s facing lesser competition than some of the higher weight classes.
But a quick scan through his list of victims would dissuade you of that notion. His most recent wins include a first round finish over Olympic gold medal wrestler Henry Cejudo, a submission win over arguably the best Japanese fighter in the world in Kyoji Horiguchi, and a quick KO over Joseph Benavidez. At this point it seems crazy that we have to keep defending his place atop the P4P list, but such is the life of a lower weight class fighter.
With this bloody destruction of Wilson Reis, Johnson ties Anderson Silva for most consecutive title defenses. We’re sure he’ll stick around at flyweight a bit longer to break that record and maybe put some padding on it, but I have to admit I’m intruiged by the idea of “Mighty Mouse” moving up to 135 pounds and testing his mettle against the killers in the bantamweight division. Whether you like it or not, it’s the era of the money fight. Johnson versus Garbrandt would definitely give Demetrious that seven figure payout he’s been so vocal about lately.
The Emergence Of A Contender
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Rose Namajunas has always been one of the scrappiest women in the UFC, and it’s been my pleasure to watch her fight since 2013 and her crazy flying armbar submission on Kathina Catron in Invicta FC put her on everyone’s map. A lot of fighters struggle with consistent performances in The Ultimate Fighter house, but Rose Namajunas cut through the competition with three submission wins, losing to the much more experienced Carla Esparza in the finals … which was Rose’s first shot at the UFC women’s strawweight title.
But man has Namajunas grown since that fight. A rematch with Esparza at this point might make some wonder if UFC matchmakers are out to get Carla. In her fight with Michelle Waterson at UFC on FOX 24, Rose showed some remarkable improvement over her previous split decision loss nine months ago against Karolina Kowalkiewicz. That fight showed she could hang with a decorated kickboxer, but now she’s back to mixing her martial arts to great effect.
Namajunas won this fight in the fractions of a second where one fighter makes a mistake and the other pounces. That led her to taking Waterson’s back on the ground in the first, and it was a similar situation in the second when she jumped on Michelle’s back to secure a fight finishing rear naked choke. Scrappy. The win has Dana White a believer in her chances agains the winner of the Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Jessica Andrade fight at UFC 211 on May 13th, and you can count me in on that. She may not win, but she won’t go down without a fight. And you can expect her to stick around at the top of the women’s strawweight division for years to come.
A Shiny New Prospect
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French fighter Tom Duquesnoy made his long anticipated UFC debut in Missouri and made about as big of an impact as a fighter can when competing on the FOX Sports 1 prelims of a card this size. It took him just over a round to finish off his opponent Patrick Williams, but you can blame the referee for that: Duquesnoy seemed to knock Williams out with a stiff elbow right at the bell, but the referee let the fighter wobble back to his corner and keep fighting into the second. It didn’t take long for Duquesnoy to take him out with more elbows from there.
The performance wasn’t perfect: Duquesnoy took some troubling shots early in the first and will need to close some of his defensive holes before facing off against any of the killers in the bantamweight top ten. But in a sport that’s always looking for a new international star, Tom Duquesnoy may be the guy to bring France out of the dark ages of MMA (the sport is still illegal in the country). All he needs now is a solid nickname to make up for the fact that we can’t spell his real one. I nominate Tommy Dukes, not just because it’s fun to say but because it also pays homage to Duquesnoy’s love of Jean Claude Van Damme, who played Frank Dux in Bloodsport.
.@JCVD inspired @TomFirekid’s post-fight celebration tonight. @anezbitt with more from #UFCKansasCity: pic.twitter.com/VLl4w8Nbax
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) April 16, 2017
Source:: mma mania