UFC on Fox 6 went off tonight from Chicago with newly crowned flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson defending against John Dodson in the headliner.
I thoroughly enjoyed the event from top to bottom. The fights were exciting and many a demonstrative statement was made by fighters aspiring to rise up. I made notes on each fight as they transpired and accented my thoughts with the stellar photography of Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com.
Demetrious Johnson defeats John Dodson by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 48-47)
While there's no way speed wouldn't be a factor in this 125-pound match up, it was the power of Dodson's thunderous hands that changed the complexion early. Dodson crippled the champ with a pair of left sledge-hammers in the 2nd, dropping him twice in a row, and appeared to be on the verge of finishing with punches. Johnson hung in tough and clawed his way back to survive the round and established that he was fully recovered by turning things around in the 3rd. In the championship rounds, Johnson utterly crushed Dodson with -- not speed, but -- a powerful Thai clinch along the fence with knees, or stifling head control with the single collar tie while blasting him with short punches.
Oddly, Dodson went away from the scorching straight left hand he'd wreaked havoc with earlier. Perhaps he didn't have a choice as the champ made an intelligent calculation and surprisingly stood in front of Dodson and engaged him at phone-booth range to jam his power. From there, Johnson started going to work and cascading the challenger with crushing knees and short-range punches with paralyzing head control. When Dodson was able to separate and create space, he was often greeted with Johnson's swooping takedown attempts, which he eventually fought his way out of, but tilted the scales farther in Johnson's direction.
I'm not sure if the casual crowd was impressed with this main event, as it was relentlessly grinding and phenomenally technical with only a few highlight-reel moments. I don't really care what the casual meat-heads like or dislike, which is probably why I don't write these post-fight columns very often. Regardless, Johnson notches another impressive win and the focus for the next challenger probably still rests on Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall, who are on tap for UFC 156.