UFC Picks: Bader Not A True Contender For Johnson In Fight Night

Swinging Johnson

Monday, January 18, 2016 1:45 PM GMT

Monday, Jan. 18, 2016 1:45 PM GMT

A pair of top light heavyweights are featured at UFC Fight Night on January 30th as Anthony "Rumble" Johnson takes on Ryan Bader in a stepping stone towards the title.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2956817, "sportsbooksIds":[169,1096,93,19,92,238], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free UFC Pick: Johnson -385
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Anthony Johnson (20-5, 14 KO's, 0 Subs)
Anthony Johnson had reeled off nine consecutive wins before getting a crack at Daniel Cormier and the UFC Light Heavyweight title. Unfortunately for Johnson, it was a step up in class that he couldn't quite make as Cormier finished Johnson via rear naked choke in the third round of their title tilt in May of last year. Johnson responded by taking care of business four months later against heavy hitter and knockout artist Jimi Manuwa with a second round KO. It would prove to be Johnson's seventh knockout over his last nine victories and only the second time in Manuwa's career that he had been finished.

Johnson has competed in four divisions ranging from welterweight to heavyweight. But at 205 the former junior college national wrestling champion appears to have found his stride. He has the power to finish yet remains agile enough to maintain his superiority on the mat against the vast majority of opponents. Despite Johnson's impressive wrestling background he has yet to secure a victory by submission. Johnson is more than capable of going to the mat but prefers to stand toe-to-toe and hammer his opponents. Three of Johnson's last four fights have earned him Performance of the Night bonuses.

 

Ryan Bader (20-4, 6 KO's, 4 Subs)
Ryan Bader, the former NCAA Division 1 wrestler, is gunning for his sixth straight victory and a shot at the light heavyweight crown. Bader copped a unanimous decision victory over former UFC 205 pound king Rashad Evans in October and hopes that a win over Johnson will cement his status as the No. 1 contender and the next in line to challenge the champion. But like his opponent Anthony Johnson, there are some peculiarities at 205 one of which happens to be the former champ Jon "Bones" Jones looming larger than life in the division after getting his strap stripped away following a legal entanglement. Bader simply needs to keep winning and the opportunity will eventually come.

Bader's bread and butter lies in his grappling game but make no mistake his striking has improved. Though not a knockout artist per se, he has the chops to keep his opponents at bay with a standup game that sets up his ground attack. In addition, the former Arizona State wrestling star has tremendous cardio and excels when the fight travels into deep waters. Bader has five consecutive victories, but all came via the judge's scorecards. Against Rumble Johnson, he may need to look for a submission; otherwise, he could be in for a long, punishing night.

 

Betting Analysis
I try not to glance at the UFC odds before analyzing a fight. I have to say, after determining that Anthony Johnson would simply be too much for Ryan Bader to handle, I was surprised by just how big a favorite Rumble is in this one. However, Johnson's brute strength and devastating striking ability make it difficult to give Bader much of a chance. Let us not forget that, though Bader has the ground chops to get it done, his opponent was the former JUCO national wrestling champ. In other words, Johnson is no slouch on the mat, my friends.

Bader has the cardio and the stamina to keep going, but I don't believe he will last. If you saw his performance against Phil Davis, prior to his decision over Rashad Evans, it was not a fight you'd want to watch again. It was boring just like Phil Davis and proved to be Davis's ticket out of the UFC. This opponent will be anything but boring, and I don't believe Bader will be able to withstand the withering assault Johnson will deliver on January 30th.

In your UFC picks make sure you include Anthony Johnson -385 at Pinnacle.com.

comment here