The UFC Fight Night 96 main event was all about the little guys, and the action these particular hard hitters – John Lineker and John Dodson – always bring.
Each man is particularly deadly in their own way. For Lineker, it’s that moment when he corners you against the cage, limiting your escape routes so he can unleash with a flurry of hell. For Dodson, is a brand of explosiveness that enables him to change direction on a dime and fire off unexpected kicks or punches that spell doom for their recipient. Put these two together and what do you have?
A lot of running and evading on the part of Dodson, which may have been smart – it certainly kept him conscious – but it was frustrating.
The rounds unfolded in similar fashion: the Brazilian in pursuit, trying to get Dodson flat-footed enough so getting out of the way is difficult, and failing to really catch the American. Meanwhile, the high-kicks and the single punches would come from Dodson, and though some scored, it didn’t move the needle in terms of bringing a sudden conclusion to things.
Round 2 saw the gunfight we had all hoped for, with both men standing in range and trading punches like stocks and bonds. But it was brief, and no had their head taken off. Another such exchange in Round 4 and you had to wonder why Dodson wasn’t doing more of this? He could clearly survive Lineker’s heat.
The fifth round is highlighted by another back-and-forth that sees Dodson absorb some damage, and then time runs out. The fight was close, but not nearly as exciting as it could’ve been.
Results: John Lineker def. John Dodson via Split Decision