The UFC returns to the United Center tonight in Chicago, IL with UFC on Fox 6: Johnson vs. Dodson. It was just about a year ago that the promotion put out their first full fledged televised Fox card in the same arena. That card featured three main card bouts all of which went the distance including a middleweight match-up between Chael Sonnen and Michael Bisping. The winner (Sonnen) would go on to face UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva later that year. The main event saw Rashad Evans hand Phil Davis his first professional loss in a five round shutout.
Saturday night’s event begins with one fight on Facebook, followed by six fights on the FX network and the Fox portion will feature four bouts that should prove to be very entertaining. For the second Fox card in a row a title will be defended as UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson will defend his title against John Dodson. Johnson became the first 125lb. champion in the organizations history when he defeated Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152 in September. Dodson earned his shot by knocking out Jussier Formiga at UFC on FX 5 back in October.
The three other match-ups to be televised on Fox include a featherweight tilt between Erik Koch and Ricardo Lamas that may see the winner go on to face the winner of the Frankie Edgar-Jose Aldo title fight scheduled for UFC 156. Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis square off and it’s a shame that this isn’t a main event contest because three rounds is just not enough for these two. Last, but not least Rampage Jackson may be fighting for the last time inside the Octagon as he faces the very dangerous Glover Teixeira.
My predictions have been very spotty lately, but that won’t stop me from trying to determine the winners of the four Fox bouts.
Erik Koch vs. Ricardo Lamas- Featherweights:
Koch hasn’t had very much to be thankful for the past 16 months. After defeating Jonathan Brookins at UFC Fight Night: Shields vs. Ellenberger in September of 2011 to run his winning streak to four, things began to go downhill for the 24-year-old RoufusSport fighter. He had to pull out of a fight with Dustin Poirier because of an injury and was then given a title shot against Aldo at UFC 149. Then Aldo got injured and the fight was then moved to UFC 153 in Brazil. Lo and behold Koch got hurt and Edgar was named as a replacement, but Aldo was hurt in an motorcycle accident ultimately moving their bout to UFC 156. Koch is very well rounded, but faces a tough test in Lamas, especially considering the fact he’s been out for so long.
Lamas himself has been on an incredible roll over the past 18 months. He has defeated Matt Grice, Cub Swanson and Hatsu Hioki in his last three fights and has looked incredible since making the move to 145lbs. Lamas definitely has the better wrestling credentials and can hold his own on the ground when it comes to submissions, but I would give Koch the edge on the feet. The big question is can Lamas control Koch on the ground and stay away from his power? If this fight were being contested under normal circumstances and Koch hadn’t been out of action so long I’d be inclined to choose him, but I see Lamas controlling this fight with his wrestling. Winner via Unanimous Decision- Ricardo Lamas
Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone- Lightweights:
This may be one of the most evenly contested fights that the UFC could possibly put on. Both men have very good striking, Pettis may be a bit more versatile, but they are both dangerous none the less. Cerrone has better takedowns, but Pettis can fight off his back with the best of them. They each have good submissions and excellent submission defense. It is really frustrating that a fight of this magnitude, with so much at stake, is only a three round bout.
Add in the fact that there really is no love lost between these two men and things become even more compelling. Ever since this fight was announced I have been going back and forth trying to figure out who was going to win and how. The one constant that has always remained is that it will go the distance. You have two extremely confident fighters who want nothing more than to face the winner of the Benson Henderson-Gilbert Melendez title bout scheduled for UFC on Fox 7. Yesterday my choice was different and I may change it again in an hour, but right now I am going with Showtime. Winner via Unanimous Decision- Anthony Pettis.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira- Light Heavyweights:
Jackson is a proud fighter and will come into this fight in great shape and he has said all the right things. Nothing would make him happier than to beat Teixeira and stop his hype train dead in its tracks, all the while walking away a winner. I’m just not so sure his fairy tale is going to have a happy ending. Jackson has become so one dimensional over the years and at the same time, extremely predictable.
Teixeira hasn’t faced someone with Jackson’s resume or with his level of skill, but let’s face it, this guy is extremely talented. He is what I like to call a silent assassin, you never know where he’s coming from until it’s too late. Jackson hasn’t looked good in a long time, even in his wins against Machida and Hamill his performances were very suspect. Take a look at Teixeira and his approach and you can see the difference, he is all business. I don’t think Jackson’s mind has been fully on MMA for a long time now and tonight he pays for that with a third straight loss. Winner by 2nd Round Submission- Glover Teixeira
Demetrious Johnson (Champion) vs. John Dodson (Challenger)- UFC Flyweight Championship:
It is beyond me why so many people give the flyweight fighters so much flak. They compete just as hard as any other division in the UFC. They fight at an extremely high pace and while they may not finish fights by devastating knockout or brutal ground and pound they are still very entertaining. Johnson and Dodson take a very different approach during their preparation and throughout their fights. Neither man will have a significant speed advantage over the other, so it comes down to who can implement their game plan better than their opponent.
Dodson is the more powerful of the two, but Johnson is very smart about getting in and out all the while avoiding any trouble. Johnson has better technical striking and a better ground game, he will take advantage of Dodson’s wildness and will be able to frustrate Dodson by staying just out of his reach. By being the smarter, more relaxed fighter it will allow Mighty Mouse to pick Dodson apart and cruise to a pretty one-sided victory. Winner via Unanimous Decision and still UFC Flyweight Champion- Demetrious Johnson.Tags: Anderson Silva, Anthony Pettis, benson henderson, BJPENN.com, Chael Sonnen, Cub Swanson, Demetrious Johnson, Donald Cerrone, Dustin Poirier, erick koch, featured, fox, Frankie Edgar, FX, Gilbert Melendez, Glover Teixeira, Hatsu Hioki, john dodson, Jonathan Brookins, Jose Aldo, Joseph Benavidez, jussier formiga, lyoto machida, Matt Hamill, Michael Bisping, MMA NEWS, phil davis, rampage jackson, Rashad Evans, Ricardo Lamas, ufc, UFC 149, UFC 152, UFC 153, ufc 156, ufc fight night: shields vs. ellenberger, UFC Flyweight Championship, ufc news, UFC on FOX, UFC on FOX 2, UFC on FOX 6, UFC on FOX 7, ufc on fx 5