UFC Fight Night: 162 | Squared Up: Johnson vs Ray Predictions & Analysis

Jason Paglia

Friday, October 25, 2019 11:31 AM UTC

Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 11:31 AM UTC

If Johnson is smart, he will dust off his wrestling and use it in this fight

<div><p>NEXT STOP, Singapore! That’s right, I said it. The UFC will smash through the door of the Singapore Indoor Arena this Saturday for UFC Fight Night 162. The event is at a really weird time for the people in the states. The prelims start around 5am in the New York and 10am in London. The fight card is ok, there are a few spots to make money, but we have seen better cards recently. In the co-main event Michael Johnson squares up against Stevie Ray in what should be an entertaining fight. Neither of these fighters are ranked in their division which is disappointing considering this fight is the coheadliner. Either way, you know me by now. I’m breaking it down to a fine powder to find the edge. Let’s get after it!</p><p style="text-align:center"><strong>MICHAEL JOHNSON (19-14) </strong><strong>vs STEVIE RAY (22-9)</strong></p><p style="text-align:center"><strong><img alt src="https://www.sportsnet.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/johnson_michael_ufc-1040x572.jpg" style="width:700px;height:385px" /><br />Michael Johnson</strong></p><p>Michael Johnson grew up in St. Louis, Missouri for most of his childhood. He played multiple sports in high school but the sport he truly gravitated towards was wrestling. He received a full scholarship to play football at Central Methodist University. While he was there for a short period of time, he transferred to Meramec Community College. While at Meramec he became one the best NJCAA wrestlers in the nation.</p><p>After college he took his wrestling skills and begun training fulltime in mixed martial arts. His plan was to become a professional cage fighter, and that’s exactly what he did. In the beginning, Johnson started competing on the regional scene, becoming the Midwest Fight League and Xtreme Cage Fighting champion. At this point in his career, Michael Johnson had his eyes on the prize. He wanted in the door of the UFC desperately, and agreed to take part in UFC’s reality television show, ‘The Ultimate Fighter’.</p><p>Johnson made the Finale of ‘The Ultimate Fighter but ended up losing to Jonathan Brookins and he was not crowned the Ultimate Fighter or win the UFC contract. Dana White liked what he saw in Johnson and decided to sign him to a multi fight contract anyway. Since joining the UFC, Johnson has an 11-10 record. Not great by any standards. Actually, quite average. He has slipped out of the featherweight rankings the last couple years and in desperate need of a win. Can he get the job done this Saturday? Below is a look at Michael Johnson, by the numbers.</p><p><strong><u>― STATS ―</u></strong></p><p>•<strong>Method of Victory •Significant Strikes </strong>(per/min)<strong> •Takedowns </strong></p><p>▪8 wins by TKO ▪ 4.15 Landed ▪ 45.00% Accuracy</p><p>▪9 wins by Decision ▪ 3.82 Absorbed ▪ 78.67% Defended</p><p>▪2 wins by Submission</p><p><strong><u>― PROS ―</u></strong></p><p>•<strong> Wrestling </strong>(Michael Johnson really needs to dust off his wrestling more often. He has gone away from it the last few fights. A takedown accuracy of almost 50% is rock solid, and so is an 80% takedown defense for that matter. Once he gets you to the ground he has solid top control and his ground and pound is better than average.)</p><p>•<strong> Speed </strong>(He might be slowing down slightly because he is a veteran, but his hand speed is still very good for the division. His movement is in the cage is fast and fluid, and his leg kicks come at you fast from a better than average muscle twitch reaction.)</p><p>• <strong>Striking </strong>(He is a solid striker. Since entering the UFC his boxing has come a long way. He incorporates his legs well and he has shown some solid knockout power. Overall his striking is definitely a true attribute.)</p><p><strong><u>― CONS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Chin </strong>(Michael Johnson has been cracked in that chin and put down more than once, and that is concerning. Does he have Chris Weidman’s chin? No he doesn’t. Has he been put down more times than I would prefer when I am backing a fighter? Yes.)</p><p>• <strong>Stamina </strong>(I think Johnson’s cardio is probably average. If you get in his face, and make him defend takedowns often, he blows through his cardio faster than the average featherweight in the UFC. That is concerning.)</p><p>• <strong>Submission Grappling </strong>(33 Fights / 2 Submission victories… The End)</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://ms.sbrfeeds.com/redirect-proxy/redirect/?url=http://dmxg5wxfqgb4u.cloudfront.net/styles/card/s3/image/EMEA-Belfast2016/GettyImages-624424226.jpg?dwrqSpYWEg2rdmMI7V1ro4IHwohSLMCp&amp;itok=_lR8FvLO" style="width:700px;height:395px" /><br /><strong>Stevie Ray</strong></p><p>There was not a whole lot I was able to find about Stevie Ray. That should tell you everything you need to know about how lackluster this co-main event has the ‘potential’ to be. Stevie Ray is a Scottish mixed martial artist. He debuted professionally in June of 2010. On the regional scene in England, Stevie Ray amassed a 16-5 record before signing a contract with the UFC. At UFC Fight Night 64, Ray made his UFC debut as a last minute replacement against Marcin Bandel. He would be victorious in his UFC debut winning via knockout. In his last two fights in the Octagon, Ray has gone 1-1. Winning a controversial fight against Jessin Ayari by unanimous decision. In his last fight in June of this year, Ray fought Leonardo Santos losing via knockout in round one. Since joining the UFC Stevie Ray has amassed a 6-4 record and is in complete desperation mode on Saturday. He has dropped 3 of his last 4 fights and is in danger of possibly getting dropped from the roster if he doesn’t turn this ship around. Below is a look at Stevie Ray, by the numbers</p><p><strong>― STATS ―</strong></p><p>•<strong>Method of Victory •Significant Strikes </strong>(per/min)<strong> •Takedowns </strong></p><p>▪6 wins by TKO ▪3.46 Landed ▪ 55.56% Accuracy</p><p>▪8 wins by Decision ▪2.61 Absorbed ▪ 55.56% Defended</p><p>▪8win by Submission</p><p><strong><u>― PROS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Discipline </strong>(Ray stays within whatever game plan he steps into the cage with. A true veteran that prepares before a fight and doesn’t throw the plan away halfway though the fight. You would be surprised how many fighters scratch their plan in the middle of the fight.)</p><p>•<strong> Striking </strong>(Ray is pretty much only solid at one thing in that cage and it’s kick boxing.)</p><p>•<strong>Stamina</strong> (Ray’s gas tank historically has held up real well in his UFC career.)</p><p><strong><u>― CONS ―</u></strong></p><p>• <strong>Wrestling </strong>(His offensive wrestling is average at very best. His defensive wrestling is abysmal. In multiple fights his wrestling skills have cost him wins.)</p><p>• <strong>Cage Position </strong>(His footwork is not great which causes his cage positioning to be piss poor a lot of the time in the Octagon. He gets backed up to the cage a lot for the weight class. It causes him to get taken down a lot of the time. He needs to be cognizant of this going forward.)</p><p><a href="http://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=168&amp;a=4417b7df-a48f-47f3-9b45-f79858bc083a&amp;f=3" target="_blank"><img alt src="https://images-production-euw2-753931602578.s3.amazonaws.com/5d582dcf927b95968483da5f/original-10-bet-new-customer-welcome-bonus" style="width:100%" /></a></p><h2><strong>THE VERDICT</strong></h2><p><strong>So, who wins this fight? Michael Johnson probably wins this fight, but I refuse to that number on a fighter like Michael Johnson. His best days are behind him and he has been known to drop when you hit the button on his chin.</strong></p><p><strong>This fight can very well end up being a slog. If Johnson is smart, he will dust off his wrestling and use it in this fight. Ray has horrific defensive wrestling skills, which could lead to Johnson being on top of him for the majority of the fight.</strong></p><p><strong>There is always a risk that someone will get knocked out. This is a fight, and both these fighters have the power to do it. However, my guess is this is a 15 minute fight where we see some dancing on the feet, and some lulls during mat time. 15 minutes goes by pretty quick. I think this fight probably goes the distance here. I don’t love any play in this fight. I don’t even like many of the betting props I have seen in this fight. BUT, the fight goes the distance is the best of the rest. So, we’ll run with it here. If you are betting this prop don’t bet the farm. Bet a chicken.</strong></p><p><strong>THE PICK</strong></p><p><a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18&amp;f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="UFC Betting Odds"><strong><em>The Fight goes the Distance at 5/7 (1.71)</em></strong><strong><em> with BET365</em></strong></a></p></div>
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