Apr 10, 2017
Apr 10, 2017

UFC on Fox: Reis vs. Johnson betting preview

Analysis of the odds movement

Key stats - The tale of the tape

Who will win?

UFC on Fox: Reis vs. Johnson betting preview

On April 15th, the UFC heads to Kansas City in Missouri for a free-for-view broadcast with UFC on Fox 24. There, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will defend his Flyweight title against #3 challenger Wilson Reis. With bettors heavily favouring Johnson, does Reis stand a chance to cause an upset? Read on to find out.

The number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world isn’t a loud-mouthed Irishman, or a hulking behemoth; it’s a 125 pound 30-year old former-wrestler who’s successfully defended his flyweight championship belt nine times, with no end in sight. Demetrious Johnson (1.139*) may not look like a killer, but that’s exactly what he is.

Johnson is the start and end of the history of the Flyweight division. After a 2011 loss to Dominick Cruz for the Bantamweight title at a five-inch height disadvantage, Johnson was chosen to face off against Ian McCall in the semi-final leg of the inaugural Flyweight division championship tournament.

After Johnson and McCall fought to a majority draw, they rematched, with Johnson leaving no one in doubt the second time around. He then took on Joseph Benavidez, won the belt and proceeded to clean out the division.  

This time around, Johnson faces Wilson Reis (6.59*), a natural choice because 1) the match comes in the wake of a cancelled UFC 201 pairing of the two and 2) Reis, the division’s #3 contender, is the highest ranked flyweight who hasn’t already lost to Johnson (#2 contender Henry Cejudo lost to Johnson in 2016; #1 contender Joseph Benavidez has lost to Johnson twice). More or less, there’s no one left. Reis has won three in a row and five of six, but there’s a reason he’s not exactly favoured to win this fight.

Analysing the betting odds

Demetrious Johnson’s recent odds at Pinnacle:

Johnson's recent odds at Pinnacle

Name (date)

Open

Highest

Lowest

Close

Result

Tim Elliott (03/12/2016)

1.12

1.12

1.11

1.11

Win

Henry Cejudo (23/04/2016)

1.26

1.29

1.24

1.29

Win

John Dodson (05/09/2015)

1.24

1.25

1.18

1.19

Win


Wilson Reis’ recent odds at Pinnacle:

Reis' recent odds at Pinnacle

Name (date)

Open

Highest

Lowest

Close

Result

Ulka Sasaki (11/02/2017)

1.18

1.19

1.17

1.17

Win

Hector Sandoval (30/07/2016)

1.35

1.35

1.27

1.27

Win

Dustin Ortiz (30/01/2016)

2.70

3.30

2.70

3.30

Win

You can see just how highly the markets regard Johnson here. Despite monumental odds in his favour, bettors have moved the line to favour him even more, assuming they’ll make a small profit for a large stake because he’s so rock solid.

Looking at Reis’s fights, you might be struck by the lack of star power in his opposition. Neither Sandoval or Sasaki is ranked despite the lack of depth in the flyweight division, a fact that loans itself to an important narrative aspect of betting this fight: Reis isn’t accustomed to the spotlight. None of his last three fight have even been on a main card, let alone a main event. If you think he might be influenced one way or another by the uncustomary attention, you may want to make a bet based on that belief.

Tale of the Tape 

Demetrious Johnson

Name

Wilson Reis

5’3”

Height

5’4”

66”

Reach

65”

125 lbs

Weight

125 lbs

25-2-1

Record

22-6

5

Wins by KO

0

9

Wins by Sub

10

0

Losses by KO

2

0

Losses by Sub

4

The match-up

The big question in this match-up is whether Reis can submit Johnson. Reis has never knocked an opponent out. In fact, his striking is downright mediocre - averaging just 2.12 Strikes Landed per Minute (SLpM) and landing just 37% of his attempted strikes. Really, he’s only throwing punches to set up takedowns, the first step towards most submissions.

Reis will throw any manner of takedown attempts, averaging 5.51 attempts for every 15 minutes of ring time. He’s not exactly an artist in that regard, succeeding just 46% of the time, but that means he’s getting opponents down more than three times every 25 minutes, a relevant number in a five-round main event against a fighter known for his lasting power.

No fighter with Johnson’s track record lacks versatility, but there’s little doubt his wrestling is his foundation. Johnson’s career takedown defense is at 62%, but it’s not impervious. He’s been taken down seven times in his last four fights, giving Reis a chance. If the fight stays on the feet for any length of time, you can bet Johnson’s 2:1 SLpM:SApM will factor heavily.

Who will win?

So, can Reis submit Johnson? If he can stay conscious, it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Johnson has never lost by submission, but Reis has a stronger combination of takedown record and submission record than the vast majority of Johnson’s opposition, so it’s conceivable. Still, to call Johnson’s wrestling suppressive once on the mat would be an understatement; even if Reis can get Johnson down, there are no guarantees of success there. 

If you think Reis is destined to go down like the rest, by all means, get your free pennies by betting dollars. If you think the submission is plausible, you have the longshot odds to make a bet worthwhile. Either way, a free championship fight is a lot of fun and having a rooting stake makes it more so. Enjoy the fights with Pinnacle’s unbeatable UFC odds.

Odds subject to change

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