(1/27/13, Chicago, IL) – After watching Demetrious Johnson (17-2-1) and John Dodson (15-6) battle in the main event of the UFC on FOX 6 event from The United Center, I think it’s safe to say that the flyweight division in the UFC is here to stay and a force to be reckoned with.
Under heavy scrutiny that it would never be a legitimate division, the 16,091 in attendance at The United Center, all those watching for free on Fox and most importantly, UFC owner Dana White seem to be fully convinced that flyweights can pack an arena and can put on one hell of a show. “I like the flyweight fights that have happened,” said White. “But this was the fight. They both proved tonight that no one should be talking any sh*t about the flyweights anymore.”
Apparently having the flyweight title up for grabs made John Dodson come out stronger and faster than we have ever seen him before as in the first round of the scheduled five round fight, he dropped Johnson early most likely putting him up 1-0 on the judges score card after the round. As round two started we saw Johnson start to find his range on Dodson but it wasn’t enough to slow the challenger down as Dodson dropped “Mighty Mouse” twice in the round. In the third round, Dodson landed a beautiful kick off the cage but Johnson was landing more power shots and it started to show why he had the title and not Dodson. A questionable knee from Johnson to Dodson while his hand was touching the mat stole the attention from the fight for a few minutes in the fourth round but it would be the work in the clinch that would ultimately give the round to Johnson going into the fifth round. In the final round, Johnson put Dodson up against the cage and let his hands and knees go landing several shots to a visibly beaten down John Dodson. “I’ve been rocked before in my past fights,” said Johnson. “John Dodson is tough and a great opponent. I’m glad I had a tough guy like that to fight.” Both Dodson and Johnson received Fight of the Night honors.
In the co-main event of the evening, the UFC said goodbye to MMA legend, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-11) giving him the exit fight that he wanted against one of 2013’s top light heavyweight prospects, Glover Teixeira (20-2). With a lot of pre- fight trash talking between the two; both fighters started swinging hard early in the round landing big shots. Rampage would show signs of fatigue throughout the fight but would then throw a flurry of punches to Teixeira saying that it was going to take more than that to put him down. Teixeira talked in the press conference that he did let Rampage back up to his feet at times during the fight because he wanted to knock Rampage out and not have a ground fight with him. He did however also acknowledge Rampage’s power though. Teixeira would go on to take a unanimous decision win over Rampage. “I feel great about the fight,” said Teixeira. “I knew before the fight that I didn’t want to get caught from his punches.”
In what was expected to be an all out war between former WEC stars, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (14-2) and Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (19-5, 1NC) ended much faster than everyone, including Pettis himself anticipated. As both fighters felt each other out early in the first round, it was a highlight reel, knee off the fence now called the “Showtime Knee”, similar to the “Showtime Kick” that really got the round going. After landing and few more kicks, Pettis switched to a southpaw stance and landed a devastating kick to Cerrone’s liver as Cowboy crumbled to the mat with Pettis landing a few hammer fists for good measure.
The Henderson/ Melendez lightweight title fight in April is set in stone, but Dana let everyone know who has the next shot at the press conference. “He’s (Pettis) next.” said White. “That was incredible tonight. I can’t say enough good things about the kid. Tonight was unbelievable.” Pettis also received Knockout of the Night for his efforts.
Chicago native, Ricardo Lamas (13-2) kicked off the Fox televised portion of the night with a violent win over former featherweight contender Eric Koch (13-2). Lamas was much more active starting out taking Koch down twice in the round. But it was in round two that he capitalized on Koch being on his back even more as he landed two big downward punches followed by two of the biggest elbows seen in a while as Koch’s face exploded open forcing the ref to stop the fight. Lamas was straight to the point on what he would like to happen for him in the next few months. “I want the winner of Aldo vs. Edgar next week.” said Lamas. “I don’t care who wins, I want the winner. I think I’ve earned my shot, and I will perform like I did tonight.”
Dana White said in the press conference that the UFC would most likely come back to Chicago in January of 2014 but also added a little teaser comment. “We came back at the same time this year and it’s working out for us,” said White. “I’d like to come back in the summer but we will see what happens.”