Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson (17-2-1) looks to make his second successful defense of the UFC flyweight title on Saturday against John Moraga (13-1) at KeyArena in Seattle, Wash.
The flyweight title match headlines the UFC on Fox 8 fight card. Johnson is one of the best all-around fighters in the world, but many of the flyweight bouts fail to hold the attention of the casual MMA fan.
While winning would suffice, Johnson or Moraga would love to put on a show that helps to excite more fans about the smallest weight class in the UFC.
Here's a look at the full card with fight information, network coverage and predictions. The predictions with an asterisk indicate a deeper analysis is below.
|John Albert (7-4) vs. Yaotzin Meza (19-8)||Bantamweight||Meza by decision|
|Justin Salas (10-4) vs. Aaron Riley (30-13-1)||Lightweight||Salas by KO|
|Julie Kedzie (16-11) vs. Germaine de Randamie (3-2)||Bantamweight||FX||Kedzie by decision|
|Ed Herman (20-9) vs. Trevor Smith||Middleweight||FX||Smith by submission|
|Daron Cruickshank (12-3) vs. Yves Edwards (42-19-1)||Lightweight||FX||Cruickshank by decision|
|Melvin Guillard (30-12-2) vs. Mac Danzig (21-10-2)||Lightweight||FX||Guillard by KO*|
|Tim Means (18-4-1) vs. Danny Castillo (15-5)||Lightweight||FX||Means by KO|
|Mike Chiesa (9-0) vs. Jorge Masvidal (24-7)||Lightweight||FX||Masvidal by decision*|
|Liz Carmouche (8-3) vs. Jessica Andrade (9-2)||Bantamweight||Fox||Andrade by submission|
|Robbie Lawler (20-9) vs. Bobby Voelker (24-9)||Middleweight||Fox||Lawler by KO*|
|Rory MacDonald (14-1) vs. Jake Ellenberger (29-6)||Welterweight||Fox||Ellenberger by KO*|
|(c) Demetrius Johnson (17-2-1) vs. John Moraga (13-1)||Flyweight Championship||Fox||Johnson by decision*|
Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard Will Remind Us Why We Thought He Was an Exciting Fighter
Can you still call yourself the "Young Assassin" at 30 years old? Perhaps, the "Seasoned Assassin" is a more appropriate alias for the man from New Orleans.
Guillard has been in his share of knockdown, drag-out wars, but recently he's come up on the short end of too many of them. He's lost four of his last five fights and is descending down the rankings.
He badly needs a win over Mac Danzig to stop his free-fall.
The strategy for Guillard against Danzig is simple. Guillard must keep the fight standing so he can take advantage of his quickness and dynamic striking. The issue for Guillard is that he loses focus at times, and his defense suffers.
It's a risky prediction, but I'm picking Guillard to win this one by spectacular KO.
Jorge "Gamebred" Masvidal Will Be Michael "Maverick" Chiesa's Bump in the Road
Something unexpected is going to happen to Chiesa on his road to stardom in the UFC. The Maverick is a perfect 9-0 having submitted seven of his opponents, but Masvidal represents a significant step up in competition.
He's not coming to Seattle to fall neatly in line as Chiesa's 10th victim. In fact, his speed, size, experience and striking ability will lead to a victory.
Chiesa's grappling and submissions game is stellar, but Masvidal will be the first opponent he faces who won't be completely befuddled by Chiesa's long limbs and octopus like tactics on the ground.
Gamebred wins this bout by decision on the strength of his striking.
Ruthless Robbie Lawler Win Short Slugfest With Vicious Bobby Voelker
Both Lawler and Voelker would rather throw bombs at each other, so this fight may actually wind up being the most crowd-pleasing bout of the night—while it lasts.
Lawler has won 17 of his 20 fights by KO and Voelker has claimed 15 of his 24 in the same manner. It is fairly safe to say this one is going to end in a knockout.
I give Lawler the edge because he's a bit more explosive and he's naturally the bigger, stronger fighter. This fight could be a prime candidate for KO of the Night with Lawler as the victor.
Jake "The Juggernaut" Ellenberger Will Upset Rory MacDonald
It feels a bit disrespectful to Ellenberger to call this a potential upset, but I do so because MacDonald is the chosen one in many MMA circles. He is certainly skilled and one of the most well-rounded fighters in the sport, but Ellenberger is the type of fighter who can derail him.
Ellenberger is a powerful wrestler that packs a sledgehammer-like punch that can change a night. Just recently it appears he is finding a nice balance between wrestling and striking.
He did have the misstep against Martin Kampman in January 2012, but aside from that, the Juggernaut has been on a nice run winning eight of his last nine fights.
MacDonald seems so calm and collected in his bouts, but the truth is, he's only truly been tested by one opponent, and that was Carlos Condit in 2010.
The Natural Born Killer handed MacDonald his only loss of his career up to now, but Ellenberger will give him his second blemish. Ellenberger's power is so explosive, he only needs to touch an opponent once. He displayed that quality in his last fight against Nate Marquadt at UFC 158.
As good as MacDonald can be, he will fall victim to Ellenberger's power. Watch the overhand right at the end of exchanges, it could be a key punch in the fight.
Mighty Mouse Will Out-Strike John Moraga
Fans may again be bored by the flyweights' artistry, and that truly is a shame. Johnson is one of the most gifted athletes in any sport, and he'll again prove that with a decision win over Moraga.
Much like athletically superior boxers, Johnson is so fast, calculated and agile, he is able to land shots and maneuver out of harm's way before taking punishment from his opponents. Moraga has plenty of speed himself, but few—if any—are on Johnson's level when it comes to swiftness.
Expect this to be a clear unanimous decision win for the champion.
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