MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Mighty Mouse vs. Horiguchi Co-Headlines UFC 186

Kyoji-Horiguchi The UFC switched up the upcoming UFC 186 card on Tuesday, pulling the announced co-main event of Rory MacDonald vs. Hector Lombard and replacing it with a flyweight title bout between champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger Kyoji Horiguchi. There has been no indication yet why MacDonald vs. Lombard was pulled from UFC 186, and there is no information yet as to whether or not the UFC still plans to have these two fight one another on a different date or if the UFC will give different opponents to each fighter. As for Johnson vs. Horiguchi, it will co-headline the event underneath the UFC bantamweight title rematch between champion TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao, but I don’t like this fight. Horiguchi is 4-0 in the UFC, yes, but he publicly stated he didn’t want the title shot and that he wanted to keep gaining experience by working his way up the ladder. At only 24 years of age, Horiguchi is being rushed into a title shot he doesn’t want because the UFC simply has done a terrible job of building contenders in the flyweight division. Sure, John Lineker was supposed to get the title shot, but he missed weight at UFC 183 and even though he beat Ian McCall the promotion couldn’t risk the chance he’d miss weight at a title fight, but still. The fact of the matter is the UFC flyweight division is three years old now and the promotion is having a very hard time finding opponents for its champion Johnson. Speaking of Johnson, he’s one of the pound-for-pound best in the world, but he just never seems to get challenged. Yes, Horiguchi is a solid striker with good takedown defence, but Johnson is on a whole other level and I fully expect him to take Horiguchi down at will and submit him. I don’t think this is going to be a competitive fight at all, and I really wished the UFC had gotten a veteran fighter like Jussier Formiga to fight Johnson instead of a prospect like Horiguchi. As for the line, I expect Mighty Mouse to be a huge favorite yet again, probably in the -600 range and maybe even higher. As much as I like Horiguchi, he is not ready for this fight, and I fully expect for Johnson to dominate the fight from bell-to-bell and either win a decision or earn a stoppage. At the end of the day, I’m glad Johnson is fighting, but this is the wrong matchup.

Written by Adam Martin.

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