This weekend, the UFC gives us another bout of age vs experience. With Michael Johnson taking on Darrius Flowers on the main card of UFC Fight Night 236, we have a bout reminiscent of Pimblett vs Ferguson, Bo Nickal vs Jamie Pickett, or Ian Garry vs Neil Magny.
Will the old guard still have what it takes, or is it time for the up-and-coming to take its place among the rankings? Read on for our Johnson vs Flowers prediction below.
Our Johnson vs Flowers Prediction: A Devastating KO Within the Distance
In this anticipated matchup between Michael Johnson and Darrius Flowers, the stage is set for an explosive encounter. Both fighters bring unique strengths and vulnerabilities to the Octagon.
While Johnson's experience and reach offer him a path to victory, Flowers' youth, power, and hunger for success make him a formidable adversary. Bottom line is we predict Flowers to secure victory via early knockout, cementing his status as a rising force in the division.
Here's why we’re predicting Flowers to knockout Johnson:
Flowers' Youth and Hunger
At eight years younger than Johnson, Darrius Flowers enters the Octagon with a hunger for victory, especially as he ventures into a new weight division. His determination coupled with the potential retention of his power despite weight cuts makes him a formidable opponent.
Johnson's Chin Durability
While Johnson boasts more experience, questions linger about the endurance of his chin following his recent KO loss. Despite his struggles in recent fights, his resilience and experience cannot be discounted. Johnson's strategy likely revolves around utilizing his reach advantage to keep Flowers at bay.
Johnson’s Susceptibility to KOs
Given Flowers' recent success, including a four-fight win streak with two victories via KO, coupled with Johnson's susceptibility to KO losses, we predict Flowers to capitalize on Johnson's potential vulnerabilities.
Expect Flowers to press the action early, looking for opportunities to land heavy shots and secure a decisive victory.
Best Betting Odds and Strategy for Johnson vs Flowers
Based on what we predict will happen in Johnson vs Flowers, these are the bets we see making sense this Saturday night:
- Flowers Win: Betting odds favor Johnson for the win considering his experience at this level. That makes simply backing Flowers to win outright a reasonably high return bet, while still remaining somewhat conservative, without our prediction above.
- Flowers By KO: Those after more favorable odds should bet on Flowers to win by KO. We say there’s a healthy chance of this happening, considering the 29-year-old’s potential advantages in power.
- Flowers to Win Round One: The highest odds bet we suggest taking on this clash would be backing Flowers for a first round knockout. This has a generous return, without being too much of a long shot. As outlined above, we believe Flowers will come out of the gates swinging, and could well end this one quickly.
Latest Johnson vs Flowers Odds
- Flowers to Win @ +110
- Flowers By KO @ +225
- Flowers to Win Round One @ +320
Full Johnson vs Flowers Preview
You’ve heard our predictions for this fight, now let’s dig into the nitty gritty. Read on for a full breakdown of each fighter’s stats, and how they match up at this stage of their careers.
Michael Johnson – Seasoned Veteran Coming to the End the Road
Michael ‘The Menace’ Johnson (21-19-0) is a veteran member of the UFC roster. He’s been around since The Ultimate Fighter 12, where he lost the finale against Jonathan Brookins, as part of team GSP.
Having fought the elite of the elite of the lightweight division, with names such as Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier, Edson Barboza, Justin Gaethje, Nate Diaz, and Beneil Dariush, Johnson, at 37, is nearing the end of his fighting career.
After suffering a devastating KO loss by the hands of Diego Ferreira, ‘The Menace’ is looking for redemption and earning back his spot in the always dynamic division.
Even though Johnson has had a hard time in the Octagon lately (losing six of his last eight fights), it’s safe to say that his fights are never boring. If Johnson can utilize his experience against Flowers, and put him on the back foot by using his reach, that will be the veteran’s best path to victory.
However, if Darrius manages to come close to Johnson, no harm there. Johnson’s accuracy, raw power, and the fact that he is comfortable trading punches in the pocket will prove a difficult challenge for anyone.
Darrius Flowers – Rookie Hungry for a Win
Darrius ‘Beast Mode’ Flowers (12-6-1) was one of the winning contenders on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2022. Thanks to his Rampage Jackson-ish KO slam, he earned himself a UFC contract. However, making his UFC debut at UFC 291: Poirier vs Gaethje, Flowers suffered a submission loss to Jake Matthews, after stepping in as a late replacement for Miguel Baeza.
While Darrius might be new to the UFC, he definitely isn’t a rookie when it comes to fighting. Before entering DWCS, Flowers fought over a number of different promotions from LFA, to KOTC, and even Shamrock FC.
Being eight years younger than his opponent, ‘The Beast Mode’ is hungry for a win, as he cuts weight to try to reign over a new division. With Flowers going down in weight to the lightweight division it remains to be seen whether the weight cutting will turn out in his favor, or have an adverse impact on his natural power. If Flowers manages to overcome the weight cut and not lose too much of his power, the path to victory is clear.
While Johnson may be the more experienced fighter, it’s yet to be seen if his chin has lost some of its endurance after his last KO loss. Flower on the other hand was riding a four fight win streak before his most recent loss, with two of them being a KO.
Whatever the case may be, this fight is destined to be one of the most exciting fights of the whole card.