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UFC on FOX 24: Wilson Reis, 'Fighter To Watch' tonight in Kansas City

MMA: UFC on Fox 18-Ortiz vs Reis Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Demetrious Johnson is chasing history tonight (Sat., April 15, 2017) at UFC on FOX 24 live from inside Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, when he puts his UFC flyweight title on the line in hopes of defending it for a record-tying 10th consecutive time. The pound-for-pound king will do so against Wilson Reis, who few casual fight fans even know. Still, Reis is the very last line of defense in the 125-pound division and the one fighter we need to pay close attention to later this evening.

Despite his lack of mainstream notoriety, Reis is as skilled of a title contender as “Mighty Mouse” has encountered during his five-year title reign. Reis, 32, is easily one of the best submission specialists the division has to offer, if not the best. He’s won three fights in a row and has recorded a 6-2 divisional clip since his promotional debut in 2013. Not to mention Reis has developed his striking alongside Dominick Cruz and head coach Eric Del Fierro at Alliance MMA over the past few years.

Still, Reis will be expected to lose tonight as he matches up against the greatest 125-pound fighter of all time. On some lists, based on what he has done since his UFC debut, Johnson may be one of the best fighters ever. So it becomes evident that Reis needs to be at an all-time best to dethrone a champion who has only lost to Dominick Cruz and Brad Pickett throughout his entire 10-year career. If he isn’t, “Mighty Mouse” will surely capitalize and make him pay.

That said, Reis is a really good grappler. While Johnson has demonstrated his own elite level of takedowns, transitions, submission attempts and submission finishes over the past few years, Reis is simply more well-rounded on the ground, although Johnson is more athletic. If there is anything the Brazilian can lean on in his title matchup with the division’s G.O.A.T., it will be his grappling. After all, Johnson just had trouble with a Tim Elliott guillotine choke and was nearly finished on the ground earlier in his UFC career by Ian McCall.

If Reis can play his cards right and put himself in good positions off the feet then he may have a chance of putting the champ in serious danger. will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on FOX 24 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass "Prelims" matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX at 6 p.m. ET, before the FOX main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.

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