The pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter in the world, Demetrious Johnson, takes the Octagon against Wilson Reis this weekend at UFC Kansas City. Aside from the fact that DJ is must-see TV, here are five reasons UFC fans might not want to miss out on this star-studded card.
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History in the making
UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson attempts to join the UFC history books when he goes for his 10th UFC title defense this weekend at UFC Fight Night from Kansas City.
A win for “Mighty Mouse” would tie Anderson Silva’s mark and set him up for a potential record-breaking bout later this year.
Even if he doesn’t end up breaking the record, a win on Saturday guarantees him a spot right beside Silva in the record books.
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The next strawweight title challenger
The next challenger to the UFC strawweight title will likely be determined from Saturday’s co-main event and contenders Rose Namajunas and Michelle Waterson are up for the test.
The bout pits two of the division’s most dynamic fighters against one another, as Namajunas enters the bout having won three of her last four while Waterson has submitted both of her UFC opponents.
The winner here should get the chance to face the victor in the UFC 211 bout between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Jessica Andrade.
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On the comeback trail
UFC Kansas City is also home to a few UFC veterans who need a win to stop or avoid losing streaks.
Fourth-ranked featherweight Jeremy Stephens looks to bounce back from a loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC 205. Another loss, especially to unranked opponent Renato Moicano, would undoubtedly push him out of the top five and mark his third loss in his last four fights.
Former lightweight contender Bobby Green returned to action last June after a near two-year layoff only to suffer a first-round KO at the hands of Dustin Poirier. If Green wants to avoid dropping his third straight bout, he’ll need a strong outing on Saturday night.
And finally, bantamweight Aljamain Sterling attempts to snap a tough two-fight skid against rising Brazilian grappler Augusto Mendes. Sterling has suffered back-to-back losses in split decisions that both could have gone his way. Instead, he walked away with the only two blemishes on his pro record and needs a victory if he wants to hold on to his spot in the top 10.
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So close, yet so far
“Jacare” Souza deserved a title shot in 2015 after he reeled off five straight wins, four of which came by way of submission or knockout. But here we are, in 2017, and Jacare has yet to fight for the title and prepares for his third straight bout against a fighter ranked lower than him.
Souza is hoping a strong win over Whittaker, which would stop the Aussie’s six-fight win streak, is enough to bump him into that No. 1 contender spot.
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One of the UFC’s biggest fan favorites, Roy Nelson, enters his FS1 featured prelim bout on Saturday at a significant crossroads. He’s coming off a second-round knockout of Antonio Silva where he showed flashes of the old “Big Country” that once scored three-straight first-round KOs. But overall, he’s won just three of his last nine.
Can he build upon the success from his last fight and make one final run at the title? Or will he fall even further away from the heavyweight top 15? We’ll find out on Saturday night.