The UFC on FOX 6 main event between flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and The Ultimate Fighter season 14 champion John Dodson was set up to be a fast paced, entertaining fight and it did not disappoint.
Both fighters marched out to the center of the cage with some dazzling footwork and the high energy movement that we had expected from the 125-pounders. There was a bit of a feeling out process from the two fighters while they danced around the octagon, but when they finally engaged Dodson gave Johnson a taste of his knockout power and dropped the champion.
Johnson was able to quickly get back to his feet and the fighters went back to the center of the cage.
After a few more flurries, Johnson was able to get Dodson to the mat, but that moment was briefly lived. It was the first time in Dodson’s UFC career that he had been taken down to the canvas.
Round two went much like the first-round with Dodson landing some huge shots and staggering the champion. The knockdowns forced Johnson to fight with more aggression and urgency. Dodson became a more calculated puncher and was picking his shots for the remainder of the round.
The power of Dodson is unmatched in the flyweight division.
Both fighters came out pushing the pace in round three of the crowd-pleasing match. The pace was not slowing until Dodson was cracked in the groin with a low blow from Johnson, but he was able to recover quickly and pick up the action right where it left off.
Johnson eventually got the fight to where he was comfortable and was able to grind out Dodson for a few moments in the third. While the strategy was effective for the champ, the crowd showered the fighters with boos as they laid on the mat.
Action was halted in the fourth-round after Dodson was hit in the eye with an illegal knee from Johnson. Johnson was unaware that Dodson’s hand was on the ground when he struck the challenger with the hard blow. Johnson landed some clean legal shots following the restart of action, but he didn’t have the same power behind his punches as Dodson.
Johnson clinched Dodson near the end of round four and landed some devastating knees that cut the challenger on the top of his head. It was he most convincing round any fighter had up to that point in the fight.
The final bout ended with an embrace from both fighters as they showed their respect from the hard fought rounds leading up to the final frame.
Dodson finally began to slow down thanks to the constant grinding from Johnson in the clinch and on the canvas. Johnson sensed that he had the upper hand in conditioning and started push the action once again. Johnson controlled Dodson for the remainder of the fight.
All three judges scored the bout in favor of the winner and still champion Demetrious Johnson — 48-47, 48-47, 49-46. Johnson’s grappling was the big difference in the fight as he was able to wear down his opponent and retain his flyweight title.
Now that Johnson has successfully defended his title, who should be the next challenger at 125?