This Saturday the UFC heads to Kansas City with a stacked card headlined by number 1 pound for pound champion Demetrious Johnson, who will look to make history by defending his belt 8 consecutive times. The only other fighter to accomplish this in the promotions history is Anderson Silva. With this being a Fox event, the promotion tends to make the cards huge from top to bottom and this event is no different. Lets take a look at some underdogs that have a good chance of overcoming the odds and getting a win Saturday night.
Robert Whittaker +190:
Whittaker has been put in another big position, co-headlining the event against a dangerous fighter in Jacare Souza. Many believe that Jacare is the next man in line for a shot at the middleweight title. Whittaker has been a rising contender in this division, ever since he made the move up from welterweight. Continually he has proven how good he truly is, winning his last 6 fights. Whittaker has shown extremely good take down defense and has yet to be taken down since fighting at 185 pounds.The Australian star will need to utilize this skill against a dangerous ground fighter, like Jacare.
Whittaker has some of the most power in the division. If he can keep the fight standing and avoid take downs like he has done thus far, he should have a really big advantage in the stand up. I believe Whittaker has a ton of value to not only finish this fight, but go a full hard 3 rounds with Jacare to win a decision. If Jacare gets on top then Whittaker will be in trouble, but at +190 the value is to good to not jump on this one.
Louis Smolka +230:
Elliot looked great on TUF and definitely surprised me by how well he wasable to fight against the champion, but he is still the same fighter that was cut from the UFC. Although he did get a raw deal when he got cut, he still had lost to the best the division had to offer. I believe Smolka is a very talented fighter that matches up well against Elliot. The thing thatmakes Elliot so good is how awkward he fights, but I believe Smolka will cancel that out because he has an awkward style himself. This is a very very close fight but Smolka at +230 is an insane steal and the only reason the odds are so crazy is because of Elliots hype coming from Tuf.Smolka is on a 2 fight losing streaking but before those losses he was looked at as a possible next contender in the near future and was putting on consecutive dominant performances against good competition. This should be a very entertaining and tough fight, but no way Smolka should be such a big underdog. I think it should be close to even money here. If the odds were even money I would still be all over Smolka, so this value is just even more the reason for me to take him here.
Augusto Mendes +165:
Sterling and Mendes are dangerous on the ground and have great jiu jitsu, but it seems that the early successful game plan that Sterling implements in his fights has been exposed. His stand-up is horrible and he only really uses kicks with very little punches making his striking very predictable. Mendes went to war in his last fight against Frankie Saenz and showed that he can stand and trade as well as have some power behind his striking. I think this fight plays out on the feet and Mendes picks Sterling apart as well as landing a few key take downs to secure a rounds. I thought Mendes would be the favorite in this fight when it was first announced, so +165 has a ton of value.
Roy Nelson +105:
I see this fight playing out two different ways. #1. Roy Nelson finds Volkov's chin with his infamous over hand right and puts him away. Or #2. Nelson uses the same strategy that Cheik Congo implemented by holding Volkov down for 3 rounds to get the decision win. Nelson will be facing the former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov after returning from his suspension of kicking a referee in the ass in his last win against Big foot Silva. Nelson should be able to have the advantage wherever the fight goes. Volkov has shown to be very stationary in the stand-up department and is extremely hittable as well as not having the best take down defense. If Nelson wants to get an easy victory, he can use his wrestling to hold down Volkov and keep him on the ground to grind out a win. I do feel however, that Nelson has a very good chance of getting the stand-up finish. I think Nelson shoots for a take down early and lays on top of his opponent to tire him out In the first round and then go head hunting in the second until he gets the finish. Nelson via 2nd round TKO.
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