Tonight: Demetrious Johnson vs John Dodson

Johnson and Dodson

Photo Credit: Esther Lin.

Later tonight, Demetrious Johnson will defend his 125 lbs. throne against John Dodson on Fox. It’ll be the first defense of the UFC flyweight title.

Demetrious Johnson started his 2012 with being one of the four men chosen to be a part of the flyweight tournament. In March 2012, he stepped inside the cage with Ian McCall, the then number one ranked flyweight in the world. After two close rounds, McCall had a spectacular third round, with multiple takedowns and dominant positions. In the case of a draw, the fight was set to go to 4th round. Well, the judges scored it a draw but due to incompetence, the fight was read as Demetrious Johnson being the winner. People were upset since most saw it as either a win for McCall or a draw. Later that day, we found out what happened, the ruling was changed to a draw (but we didn’t get the 4th round since they found out an hour later) and it was pretty upsetting.

Matt Hume and Demetrious Johnson took their mistakes from their first clash with Ian McCall, and crafted a great performance against McCall in June 2012. The rematch played differently, McCall was more desperate for takedows and Johnson was able to stuff him easier. One can look at that fight and see McCall taking the 2nd frame, but the rest was the “Mighty Mouse” show. With that semi-final win over the number one ranked flyweight in the world, Johnson advanced to the finals against Joseph Benavidez on September 2012.

A significant amount of fans that were there live for Johnson vs Benavidez were booing. Ignorant MMA fans were displaying a level of heightism that was off-putting. But Johnson and Benavidez didn’t care, they went out there and put on a great five round tilt, which displayed the elite skills of Demetrious Johnson. With the exception of the fourth frame, an exciting round that had Benavdiez dropping Johnson and attempting a guillotine choke (Johnson’s choke escape was like a great World of Sport hold escape), it was Johnson that was mostly in control of the fight. At the end of some of the quickest 25 minutes of MMA action I’ve ever seen, Johnson was raised his hand and awarded the first ever UFC flyweight (125 lbs) championship.

John Dodson made his mark on TUF, went all the way to the finals to face Team Alpha Male’s TJ Dillashaw on December 2011. I picked Dillashaw to win that night, I was proved wrong after one minute, and fifty-four seconds of action. Dodson had TKO’d Dillashaw. He dropped back down to flyweight in his next fight, and Dodson had a somewhat dry decision win over Tim Elliott on May 2012. His next fight was against top flyweight Jussier Formiga, a man who was once the number one ranked flyweight in the world (Formiga lost that ranking to Ian McCall in a neat fight). After an actionless first frame, Dodson busted up Formiga badly to win via TKO in the second frame. With that win over a top 125 lbs. fighter, it was Dodson next in line to face “Mighty Mouse” for his flyweight crown.

If you don’t like the flyweight division, then you probably don’t want the sport to grow with talented American fighters like “Mighty Mouse” or the possible potential role it could play in gaining fantastic, exciting international talent like the lower weightclass in boxing always do. If you can’t get behind watching elite talented fighters fight because they happen to be 5’3, then you’re probably someone whose opinions on combat sports are worthless. The flyweight division has a lot of cool and exciting fighters at this point in time. To name a few, fighters like Demetrious Johnson, Joseph Benavidez, Ian McCall, John Lineker, and Louis Gaudinot are genuinely entertaining fighters, far more exciting than other fighters that have “exciting” reputations. Because of the styles of Johnson and Dodson, I can’t say how this fight will turn out, but I’m expecting to be very pleased with the skills and talent of “Mighty Mouse”.

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