UFC on FOX 6: January 26, 2013
UFC Flyweight Title Fight
UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson (-285)
Profile: Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1) became the first-ever UFC flyweight champion following a dominant unanimous decision win over Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152. The 25-year-old from Washington had also earned a unanimous decision win against Ian McCall in a semifinal bout at UFC on FX 3 after the two fought to a draw on March 3. “Mighty Mouse” thought he had walked away with a victory against McCall the first time around, but a scoring mistake changed the decision and forced a rematch for the right to face Benavidez for the title. Johnson had previously lost a bantamweight title fight against champ Dominick Cruz last October before dropping to the flyweight division, and he is 4-1-1 in the UFC with another notable win over Miguel Angel Torres at UFC 130.
UFC Flyweight #1 Challenger John Dodson (+215)
Profile: A former New Mexico State wrestling champion and part-time Chuck E. Cheese employee, John Dodson (14-5) fell in love with MMA after Greg Jackson recruited him in 2003 due to his impressive wrestling background. With Jackson guiding him, Dodson has already seen much success in MMA, winning The Ultimate Fighter 14 despite moving up a weight class to bantamweight. The 28-year-old is currently undefeated at 3-0 in the big leagues and earned a title shot against Johnson with a second-round TKO of Jussier Formiga in his last fight. For a smaller fighter, Dodson has KO power in his hands to go along with his wrestling base and adequate submission skills. He has a bottomless gas tank, and Jackson has ingrained a solid amount of ring savvy to put him in position to become a contender for years to come.
Opening UFC on FOX 6 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Johnson a moderate -285 favorite (bet $285 to win $100) while Dodson opened as a +215 underdog (bet $100 to win $215) according to the MMA odds. Johnson showed his critics a lot in defeating Benavidez for the flyweight title after opening as a +210 underdog, and he is certainly deserving of being a comparable favorite in this spot. Ironically, the odds on this fight are nearly identical to when he fought Benavidez, although it will obviously be a reversal with Johnson the fave this time around. Dodson is viewed as a future champ somewhere down the road but lacks the big-fight experience of Johnson, who will be difficult for the challenger to chase down and land any significant strikes against. Since these are two of the quickest fighters in the UFC, Johnson’s ability to dictate the tempo and pick and choose where he attacks Dodson will be critical to the outcome. Dodson won TUF 14 by stunning T.J. Dillashaw with a first-round TKO, so he has proven he can step up in the spotlight. But Johnson would be making a big mistake to underestimate him, perhaps the only way he loses the title.