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Odds of Top 10 UFC Flyweights Capturing the Title

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2013

Odds of Top 10 UFC Flyweights Capturing the Title

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    The UFC Flyweight division is continually adding more and more depth to the ranks, but Demetrious Johnson continues to reign supreme.

    The top 10 of the division offers unique challenges to the champion. Knockout artists and submission specialists seek to dethrone the current champion if they get the chance. However, the flyweights may be fighting John Moraga if he can defeat Johnson at UFC on FOX 8 in July.

    I will give you the odds each fighter has against both men just in case Moraga can end Johnson's run.

    Here are the currents odds the top 10 flyweights have of taking the title if they get their shot at the championship.

No. 10: Timothy Elliott

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    Timothy Elliott entered the UFC on an eight-fight win streak, but ended up facing John Dodson in his UFC debut. He went the full 15 with the future title challenger, and rebounded with a decision win over Jared Papzian in December.

    Elliott is a former high school state wrestling champion, and has added some good striking to his MMA game.

    He still has a long way to go to compete against the champion. What he does both Johnson and Moraga do better.

    His stylistic matchup and toughness will give him a shot to upset each man with one shot, but it isn't likely.

    Odds Against Johnson: 10%

    Odds Against Moraga: 15%

No. 9: Darren Uyenoyama

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    Darren Uyenoyama won his first two UFC bouts against Kid Yamamoto and Phil Harris, but was systemically dismantled by Joseph Benavidez.

    Uyenoyama has a great submission game, but what Benavidez did to him can be replicated by both Johnson and Moraga. They are two highly skilled wrestlers who will be hard to take down. Johnson also has excellent submission defense.

    Unless Uyenoyama can up his offensive wrestling he will find it hard to get either man down.

    He may be the most unlikely of the top 10 to win the UFC Flyweight Championship.

    Odds Against Johnson: 5%

    Odds Against Moraga: 7%

No. 8: John Lineker

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    John Lineker holds a 1-1 record inside the Octagon, and is one of the flyweight's most exciting fighters.

    Lineker can throw hands with the best of them, and has good power in his hands.

    Where Uyenoyama may find it hard to take down Johnson and Moraga, Lineker will find it tough to stay upright. The reason he has more of a chance to defeat these two than Uyenoyama is that every fight starts standing.

    Johnson and Moraga will oblige Lineker on the feet for a little bit. However, they are smart and will take him down at some point. From there they can control and ride out a win.

    Odds Against Johnson: 7%

    Odds Against Moraga: 15%

No. 7: Chris Cariaso

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    Chris Cariaso, 4-2 in the UFC, has been one of the most pleasant surprises in the company.

    Cariaso entered the WEC as a quality prospect, and we have had the privilege to see him develop in each and every fight. Since 2009 his only losses have come at the hands of Renan Barao, Michael McDonald and John Moraga.

    At UFC 155 he was doing well in his fight against Moraga until he was finished in the third with a choke. Cariaso found success with his leg kicks against the now title contender.

    Cariaso has a good well-rounded skill set that makes him a formidable opponent in the division. He matches up better against Moraga than Johnson, but he shouldn't be counted completely out in either affair.

    Odds Against Johnson: 20%

    Odds Against Moraga: 50%

No. 6: Louis Gaudinot

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    Louis Gaudinot has not been seen since last May. An injury kept him out of an October meeting against Darren Uyenoyama.

    The former The Ultimate Fighter participant is 1-1 in the organization, and won his lone flyweight bout against John Lineker.

    The green-haired striker adds in some good ground work when he has the opportunity, but he is still behind the eight ball against the elite of the division. Although, since we have not seen the sixth-ranked fighter in over a year we have no idea how much, if any, he has improved.

    Until we get to see him again, this is even more of a guess.

    Odds Against Johnson: 10%

    Odds Against Moraga: 15%

No. 5: Jussier Formiga

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    Formiga is one of the biggest threats in the division when the fights hit the ground. He is very proficient on the canvas.

    In his UFC debut he met John Dodson, who shut down Formiga's attempts to take it to the ground and made it look relatively easy. For the hype that Formiga entered with, it did not give fans much hope that he was a true contender.

    Formiga is better than what he showed in that fight.

    The upside for Formiga is that neither Johnson nor Moraga have the kind of power that Dodson has. That will allow him more time to find a way to take the fight to the ground, and give him more opportunities to claim gold.

    Odds Against Johnson: 30%

    Odds Against Moraga: 50%

No. 4: John Moraga

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    John Moraga has won seven straight bouts and finished both of his UFC fights with top 10 opponents.

    He knocked out Ulysses Gomez in the first round and made Chris Cariaso tap at UFC 155. He shows good well-rounded skills and has good power. That will serve him well against Johnson.

    Moraga is a two-time All-American from Arizona State. Johnson can be taken down, but it is holding him there that is the big problem. Over 25 minutes it will be a tough task to keep putting him down, ask Joseph Benavidez.

    Moraga has the right tools to complete the job, but I don't think this is the right time for him to complete the task. Johnson is the better fighter, but Moraga has a legit shot at the upset.

    Odds Against Johnson: 40%

No. 3: Ian McCall

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    "Uncle Creepy" Ian McCall is 0-2-1 in the UFC, but he has only fought Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez.

    Anyone who saw his bouts with Johnson knows he is a legit threat to upend the champion if they ever meet for a third time. He is unquestionably one of the top flyweight fighters on the planet right now.

    McCall came on strong against Johnson in their first meeting, and if they meet again it will be in a 25-minute fight. That is a big plus for McCall.

    Outside of the champion and Benavidez, McCall may be the most well-rounded fighter in the division. He is still able to be taken down by good grapplers like Johnson and Moraga, but McCall has shown he is no slouch in that area either. In a 25 minutes fight, McCall will have every opportunity to score enough to take the fight.

    Odds Against Johnson: 50%

    Odds Against Moraga: 60%

No. 2: John Dodson

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    John Dodson had his chance to collect gold in January but came up just short as Johnson survived early knockdowns to take the fight on the scorecards.

    Dodson was still all smiles afterwards.

    The loss to Johnson will only make him a better fighter moving forward, and that is a scary thought. He is 3-1 in his UFC career, and only continues to improve under the tutelage of Greg Jackson. As he improves, he looks more and more like a future champion.

    If Dodson gets a rematch against Johnson or is pitted against Moraga, he will have an excellent shot at wearing gold. He knows what it will take now.

    Odds Against Johnson: 60%

    Odds Against Moraga: 75%

No. 1: Joseph Benavidez

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    5-1 in the UFC, Joseph Benavidez is the clear No. 1 contender in the division.

    He dropped a split decision to Johnson in the first ever UFC Flyweight Championship bout, but rebounded nicely with a win over Ian McCall. In April, Benavidez dominated Darren Uyenoyama en route to showcasing his new striking skills.

    The addition of Duane Ludwig to Team Alpha Male has been much talked about, but cannot be understated.

    Benavidez is no longer just a wrestler controlling his opponents. He is a complete fighter who is just as big of a KO threat as he is to repeatedly take his opponents down.

    A second fight with Johnson would be exceptionally fun, and he matches up favorably against Moraga. No matter who wins the fight in July, Benavidez should be the next in line for a crack at the title. He has shown no one deserves it more.

    Odds Against Johnson: 50%

    Odds Against Moraga: 85%

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