Michael Johnson and Jordan Johnson (no relation) are among those that sites for betting see winning their matches – against Justin Gaethje and Marcel Fortuna, respectively – at The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale on Friday at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.
Michael Johnson vs. Justin Gaethje
The Menace and The Highlight will headline the event’s main card. Johnson, fittingly, was introduced to UFC in The Ultimate Fighter (he had previously plied his trade mostly in FM Productions); specifically the 12th season in 2010, also known as Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck – where he made it all the way to the finale, losing to Jonathan Brookins by unanimous decision. Johnson is 9-7 in the UFC, defeating the likes of Tony Ferguson, Joe Lauzon, and Dustin Poirier. However, he has lost three of his last four fights, including to Khabib Nurmagomedov by submission at UFC 205 on November 12, 2016 in New York.
Gaethje will be making his promotional debut. He is undefeated in 17 bouts, including five successful defenses of the WSOF Lightweight Championship – the consecutive title defenses in World Series of Fighting. Additionally, he holds records for most wins in title matches, longest lightweight winning streak (10), and most KO wins (9). All things considered, though, sites for betting in the U.S seem to put more stock in Johnson’s spotty record in the world’s foremost mixed martial arts promotion than in Gaethje’s perfect record in smaller companies – a textbook case of ‘big fish in a small pond.’
Jordan Johnson vs. Marcel Fortuna
‘Big Swingin’ Johnson honed his people-beating skills in Resurrection Fighting Alliance, which culminated in his winning the RFA Light Heavyweight Championship in December, 2016. He signed with UFC the following month and made his promotional debut at UFC on Fox: Shevchenko vs. Peña in January, a victorious effort against Henrique da Silva to improve his career record to 7-0. “I’m just here to whoop ass, dude,” JJ said following that bout. “That’s it. So all these other guys can do that, and maybe some other people can get caught up with what’s going on and let their emotions take over, but I know this where I’m supposed to be, what I’m supposed to be doing, so that’s it.”
‘Little Hands’ Fortuna had his first taste of UFC-tude in The Ultimate Fighter: Team Joanna vs. Team Cláudia in 2016; he faced Cory Hendricks in the preliminary elimination match to gain entrance into the house and join the final cast but lost by unanimous decision. Nonetheless, he was signed by UFC not long after and defeated Anthony Hamilton by KO at UFC Fight Night: Bermudez vs. Korean Zombie in February of this year – which was not only his promotional, but also his heavyweight debut – in the Performance of the Night. Fortuna will return to light heavyweight to face Johnson, though. The Brazilian is a former Dragon House Light Heavyweight Championship, but once again, that doesn’t seem to be enough to tip the scales in his favor, at least as far as sites for betting are concerned.