Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (16-2-1) vs. John “The Magician” Dodson (14-5-0)
Who gets to fight the champion after this bout is up in the air, but that has not stopped the UFC from putting together probably two of the best flyweights out there for their newly-minted title’s first defense. Johnson comes into this bout off the strength of the best run of his career. While some people questioned him after the draw to Ian McCall, he proved all his doubters wrong by manhandling McCall in their rematch, and then going on to defeat Joseph Benavidez, who was the favorite in the flyweight tournament. Now he faces Dodson, who won the Ultimate Fighter at 135, but has dropped to 125 and won two straight. Dodson earned this title shot with a TKO over Jussier Formiga.
On the feet it should be pretty even. While Dodson is the better power striker, Johnson puts together the better combinations. A lot of fans and pundits think that this is a fight between the two fastest fighters in the UFC, but Johnson is probably quicker. When looking at their fights you see Johnson land multiple punches while he moves in and out. Dodson, however, looks for the big punch, like Benvidez did against Johnson in their bout.
The wrestling aspect of this fight should be interesting. Going into the bouts with McCall and Benavidez, Johnson was not seen as having the superior wrestling, but like Georges St. Pierre, he proved that credentials mean nothing in MMA, as he took down his opponents at will. If Dodson has to fight off his back, he will have to use a lot of guard work or sweeps, which we have not seen much of out of him. This match really comes down to a battle of wits. Both fighters are completely capable of winning this match, but it will depend on their coach’s game plans. Dodson is backed by Greg Jackson, while Johnson in back by Matt Hume. What they come up with for this fight will be vital to their fighter’s chances.
The Bottom Line:
Neither fighter has ever been finished so I doubt we are in for anything but a decision in this fight. Over the course of five rounds this will be Johnson’s fight. He has some of the best cardio and generally looks as fresh in the first round as he does the fifth. Johnson by unanimous decision