UFC Fight Night 42 Play: John Dodson (-500) vs John Moraga (+400)

John DodsonUFC Fight Night 42 Date: June 7, 2014 Arena: Tingley Coliseum City: Albuquerque, NM Flyweight bout: John Dodson (-500) vs John Moraga (+400) Fight Breakdown: The main card for UFC Fight Night 42 will be featuring a flyweight contest in the form of a rematch between The Ultimate Fighter season 14 winner John “The Magician” Dodson and Rage in the Cage veteran John Moraga. Dodson is a -500 ($500 to win $100) favorite in this scrap, with his opponent Moraga being a +400 ($100 to win $400) underdog at Several Bookmakerss. John “The Magician” Dodson (15-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is coming off a layoff of nearly eight months, last seeing action at October’s UFC 166 in Houston, where he defeated Darrell Montague via knockout in the very first round of action. With the victory, he bounced back into the win column, after coming short in a bid for the flyweight title against champ Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Dodson took the first two rounds against Johnson, but lost the last three on the judges’ scorecards for a unanimous decision loss. He will now look to make it two in a row against Moraga, as he has his eyes set on a rematch with the champ. The 29-year old is a talented striker with great footwork and greater speed, being arguably the fastest fighter on the UFC’s roster. He is also arguably the most powerful flyweight in all of Mixed Martial Arts. “The Magician” has a hard straight-right, puts together some very effective combinations on the feet, and is a very good counter-striker, especially with his counter-hooks. He has phenomenal athleticism and a solid chin. He has excellent takedown defense, and when takedown, he does a great job of quickly working his way back to his feet. He is the only fighter to defeat current UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw, and he did so via first round knockout to become The Ultimate Fighter season 14 bantamweight winner. Of course, he has since dropped down to his natural weight class of 125-pounds. Training in high-altitude out of Jackson-Winklejohn MMA in Albuquerque, NM, Dodson has great conditioning. Though, that was not exactly the case when it came to a five round fight against Johnson. While still in the fight, he was not nearly as quick as he was early on in the fight. That said, I believe he will have made improvements in that area, come time for his next five round bout. John Moraga (14-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is coming off a controversial split decision win over Dustin Ortiz nearly five months ago, which put him back in the win column following a fifth round submission loss to Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in a bid for the UFC Flyweight title. Both Moraga and Dodson are 1-0 following losses to the champ, and are both looking to go 2-0 en route to another crack at the gold. The 30-year old is a talented striker who is very technical and effective on the feet, both with his single shots and his combinations. He packs power behind his strikes, and with his first round knockout of Ullyses Gomez in his promotional debut, he became the first flyweight to score a knockout inside the UFC’s Octagon. He pressured Gomez against the cage towards the end of the frame, and used a combination of elbows and uppercuts to send the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt down to the canvas. The Arizona State University All-American freestyle wrestler has a solid offensive wrestling game, but generally prefers to use his wrestling to keep his fights standing, where he likes to use his limbs. That is, unless he feels he may be at a striking disadvantage, at which point he will look to implement his wrestling. The Rage in the Cage veteran works solid leg kicks, and loves to use his knees and elbows. He has a great clinch and likes the use the position to work his opponents’ body with vicious knees. He’s is a durable fighter with a solid chin and good conditioning; I expect him to be in shape for a 15-minute fight, should it hit the judges’ scorecards. Moraga splits his training between Arizona Combat Sports in Tempe, AZ and The MMA Lab in Glendale, AZ. Though, that was not exactly the case for this bout. His fight against Dodson will be at high-altitude in Albuquerque, so in order to prepare for the three-round contest and not risk gassing, Moraga moved his training camp to Flagstaff, AZ. He has four other team members who are competing on the card and they all traveled to Flagstaff with him to prepare for their bouts. Gabe’s Prediction: This is a rematch of a fight John Dodson won via unanimous decision over three years ago, just before Dodson appeared on season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter. I think if it hits the judges’ scorecards against, it will again be “The Magician” getting his hand raised, but I think this time he may actually finish the fight. That said, Moraga is not easy to put away, so I think it’s a toss-up whether he will finish him or win a decision, so that is why I will be avoiding both props. A straight up play on Dodson is one I really love as part of a two-team parlay. Even at ridiculously juiced odds, I see value in him. Gabe’s Call: “The Magician” by KO (1:11, round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: John Dodson (-500) parlayed with Sergio Pettis (-500) for -228 7.5u to win 3.3u

Written by Gabe Killian

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