UFC Fight Night 127: Stevie Ray vs. Kajan Johnson fight preview
Name: Stevie Ray
MMA Record: 21-7
UFC Record: 5-2
Notable Wins: Joe Lauzon, Ross Pearson
Notable Losses: Paul Felder, Alan Patrick
Last Fight: KO loss to Paul Felder
Fighter Profile: Ray is one of Scotland's top fighters and one of the top fighters from Europe in general. He's put together a very solid record inside the Octagon and has defeated veteran gatekeepers like Joe Lauzon and Ross Pearson. Early in his UFC career he was showing finishing power and though he hasn't scored a knockout in a few years now, he still has the capacity to do so. We have see some flaws in Ray's game, namely his takedown defense against Alan Patrick and obviously the knockout loss to Paul Felder, but overall he's shown he's a decent fighter in the lightweight division. Will he ever win a title? Probably not, but I still think the UFC made the right call to re-sign him, and I think he has a few more knockouts up his sleeve.
Name: Kajan Johnson
MMA Record: 22-12-1
UFC Record: 3-1
Notable Wins: Adriano Martins, Ryan Healy
Notable Losses: Tae Hyun Bang
Last Fight: KO win over Adriano Martins
Fighter Profile: A long-time veteran of the Canadian regional circuit, Johnson has put together a surprising three-fight win streak in the Octagon, with a brutal KO win over Adriano Martins in his last outing. He came into that fight as a massive underdog but showed the MMA world that he has the skills to compete with the best inside the UFC. Though he's an older fighter at 33 years of age, he is still showing signs of improvement in his recent fights. Ever since losing via bruta KO to Tae Hyun Bang in his UFC debut he's looked like a differerent fighter. He has solid grappling and improving striking and has a ton of experience. Having said that, we've seen him get brutally knocked out multiple times in the past. Though his chin has held up in recent fights, at some point it may rear its ugly head again, and as he continues to move up the lightweight ladder and fight more powerful strikers that becomes a bigger concern.
Fight Breakdown: I have to admit I have been pleasatly surprised by Johnson's win streak as of late, and his KO over Martins was ultra impressive. That being said, I just feel like this is a bad matchup for him. Ray is the younger fighter, he's faster, and he has more power. He'll also have the crowd behind him for this fight. I actually feel like Johnson's best path to victory will be to take Ray down, but Ray should be able to stop Johnson's takedowns. And in the striking department, I'd have to give Ray a big edge. I think this fight plays out on the feet, I see Ray busting Johnson up, and eventually scoring a knockout win.
Prediction: Ray via TKO
Tags: betting preview
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