UFC on Fox 6: Johnson vs. Dodson post-fight results and analysis - Bloody Elbow
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.
Glover Teixeira defeats Quinton "Rampage" Jackson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Rampage came out looking good. The thousand-yard-stare was typical, but the compact combinations, busy jab and occasional low kick were not. After some fairly even exchanges that Rampage seemed to be leading, Teixeira set up a beautiful takedown (ankle pick, I believe?) and quickly took the back. He nearly cinched in an arm triangle while Rampage was trying to spin out, but Rampage battled back to his feet and unloaded punches. Glover clipped with him a left hook and then chopped him down with another, and appeared to be mounting a finishing flurry, but couldn't deliver.
Teixeira hit another takedown early in the 2nd but Rampage was again able to stave him off and sneak back to his feet, where he unloaded a triple salvo of uppercuts. From that point on, it seemed like Rampage never had his balance or his legs firmly planted underneath him. He was quicker with his hands than he usually is, but his combos ended in a sideways stumble rather than a strong rooted stance. He taunted Teixeira a little and laughed off some landed punches, but Glover was more artful and calculating than I remember seeing and entered the 3rd up both rounds.
Anthony Pettis defeats Donald Cerrone by 1st-round TKO (roundhouse kick to the liver)
So ... damn. Pettis styled on Cerrone. Not only did he utterly destroy him from start to finish, but he did it with supreme style and creativity. There was a gif-destined sequence where (pictured) Pettis threw a martelo Capoeira kick -- from square in the pocket instead of out on the fringe -- that Cerrone luckily countered with a step-in knee to the body. Seriously, somebody gif that ASAP. And while you're at it, throw in the "Showtime Knee" when Pettis sprung off the fence with his right foot and drilled Cerrone's chin with a flying knee. This was a criminal level of swagger, like Dave Chappelle's "And-One" skit.
Pettis stayed ultra tight with his stance and spent most of the time in southpaw, cutting blinding pivots while plugging Cerrone with short, slicing punches on the way by. Pettis unlatched a hard left kick to the ribs that visibly contorted Cerrone's face into the classic "Too Much Fruit!" or "working on a big one" face. Though "Cowboy" tried to play it off and suck in some short gasps with a casual demeanor, it was obvious Pettis had blasted all the wind right out of his lungs. Pettis stepped on the gas and stalked Cerrone with determination, eventually crumpling him to the canvas with another body kick that curled Cerrone into a ball. And to all my faithful readers -- yes, I do feel like a dumbass for thinking Cerrone might have better boxing.
Anthony Pettis. Ben Henderson. Rematch. Mark it dude.
Ricardo Lamas defeats Erik Koch by 2nd-round TKO (elbows and punches)
The 1st round of the Fox card opener was as even and competitive as most expected it to be, as Koch was quick and long with his 1-2 and low kicks while Lamas head-hunted with heaters. The 2nd round was not. "The Bully" bulldozed Koch with a power double and then popped his face open like a grape with a vicious elbow. While I realize that sounds unsettling, I'm not embellishing for once: Lamas postured up and swung down a scorching elbow that sprung a crimson leak on Koch as soon as it landed. Lamas didn't hesitate for a moment and showered down a few more punches to elicit the stoppage.
The onslaught was mercilessly violent and the results were gruesomely commanding. Lamas has annihilated 3 reputable opponents in the 4-fight surge he's enjoying. Put the man in line, or give him Mendes or Siver. Or match Mendes with Siver and line Lamas up with "The Korean Zombie."
T.J. Grant defeats Matt Wiman by 1st-round TKO
Grant, who built his name as a submission grappler, made good on a few trips to Thailand by finishing Wiman with pure Muay Thai brutality. A few minutes in, a calm Wiman popped into range with punches and Grant thwacked a right horizontal elbow clean through. Another followed shortly after and Grant, realizing Wiman wasn't adjusting, stepped in hard and arced another meat-cleaver (pictured) that put Wiman on roller-skates. Grant turned it on and stuck with what was working by cleaving an elbow directly into Wiman's forehead and then pounding away until the ref stepped in. Wiman has a rugged chin and had previously only been finished via strikes courtesy of a Spencer Fisher flying knee.
Grant moves to 4-0 since the drop to lightweight and has become just as deadly standing as he's always been on the mat. I'm not sure he can dethrone Ben Henderson but he's definitely due for a top contender, stat.
- Random Thought: Why do the referees always step in whenever a grounded fighter wants to get back on his feet? Grant was standing right over Wiman, who'd taken a knee, and John McCarthy jumped in between them in order to let Wiman stand up unhindered. Why? What if Grant felt like punching him in the face while he was getting up? I don't get that and it seems entirely unnecessary unless there's a prolonged period of inactivity or the standing fighter waves him up.
Clay Guida defeats Hatsu Hioki by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
I received this decision poorly, and thought it was flat-out wrong. Hioki boxed Guida up in the 1st stanza, slipping and parrying his wild haymakers and consistently piercing his guard with straight rights, baby left hooks and kicks to the body after switching to southpaw. It was, by no means, a dominant round, but Hioki was the more effective striker. Guida hit a takedown with 1:30ish on the clock, controlled position briefly and then ejected after Hioki got the over-side kimura grip and also threatened to take his back. I had it a clear 10-9 for Hioki.
Guida lifted Hioki off the ground immediately in the 2nd and slammed him down hard (pictured). Hioki had started to creep around to his back so Guida didn't have full body control on the drop; it wasn't quite what I'd call a damaging slam but it was more effective than your typical double or single leg. And that was Guida's most effective offense of the round. The next 3 minutes or so transpired with Hioki constantly angling his hips and forcing Guida to defend sweeps and submissions. Hioki locked on a kimura and straightened it out but Guida patiently based down and worked his way out, just like he did when Hioki's spidery limbs stretched around his neck for a triangle attempt that he switched to an armbar. Guida landed one flush punch, which was answered by Hioki, and grazed with an elbow, but spent the rest of the encounter doing nothing but defending. To close the frame, Hioki landed a left and a high kick.
The 3rd round was entirely uneventful. Guida got a takedown early but couldn't control Hioki's hips, and spent 2-3 minutes fighting for control and preventing Hioki, who'd sat up against the fence, started to wall walk and taken a knee, from standing all the way up. There was no significant offense for either really, and I didn't really care at that point as I'd already chalked in 2 rounds for "The Child of Shooto."
Guida didn't just get, in my opinion, a gift decision, but also a 30-27 score from judge Gabriel Sabaitis.
Pascal Krauss defeats Mike Stumpf by unanimous decision
Krauss reminded us of why he was once considered an up-and-comer. He cracked Stumpf with a high output of short, cleaving punches while stuffing the bulk of Stumpf's takedown attempts throughout the fight. Anchored by a stiff 1-2 with left hooks and uppercuts sprinkled in, Krauss walked Stumpf down with a steady humdrum of leather and pretty much dictated the action from start to finish, earning all 3 rounds on every card. Stumpf was handily defeated but exhibited a kitchen sink for a chin and admirable durability.
Ryan Bader defeats Vladimir Matyushenko by 1st-round guillotine choke
The young lion devoured the old bull here, and proved that he's a top-level entry and not just a one-trick pony. When Vladdy retreated in a straight line after a few "feel out" combinations, Bader charged in with his left hand cocked and readjusted his footwork -- twice -- to account for more depth, and blasted "The Janitor" with a leaping left hook. Rather than flurry with punches, Bader snapped him down with a strong front headlock and switched to a deep arm-in guillotine. Full guard is best for the choke and half guard is a little tougher to finish, but Bader barely had Vladdy's foot trapped in a stretched half guard and still coaxed the tapout.
This was a dominant and definitive outing for Bader, who politely suggested "legend" Mauricio Rua as an opponent because it would be "an honor" to face him. I'm down.
Shawn Jordan defeats Mike Russow by 2nd-round TKO
There were two schools of thought for how this match would turn out: Russow using his experience to wear Jordan out with his dual-pronged attack of boxing and submission wrestling, or the younger Jordan being too tough and athletic for the 38-year-old hometown favorite. We got to see both. The 1st round was all Russow, though Rogan astutely noted what seemed like an exasperated sigh from Russow after he wobbled Jordan with punches and controlled the action for the opening 3-4 minutes, but Jordan kept coming at him.
Jordan ended the 1st making a comeback from the stunning blow responsible for the blood trickling down his face, and went right back to work in the 2nd with tight, pressuring punches and a takedown that lead to back mount. From there, the hail of heavy shots persisted until the referee waved it off.
This was a huge win for Jordan at any rate, but especially because Russow is not a bottom-level guy and "The Savage" showed a big heart and impressive willpower in enduring the early punishment and turning the tables to notch the stoppage.
Rafael Natal defeats Sean Spencer by 3rd-round arm triangle
Natal had his hands full early with Spencer, who took this middleweight fight on short notice and typically fights at welterweight. Spencer was a game boxer and had his moments in a fairly even and eventful opening round of standing exchanges, but Natal closed the frame by scoring a takedown in the final minute and dominating position while heaving strikes.That bit of confidence was all he seemed to need, as Natal came out confident for a strong 2nd round and finally pulled the curtains with a side choke (pictured) after getting the mounted crucifix in the 3rd. Natal does continue to show some interesting striking improvements: he's still wild but managed to throw a few on-balance spinning back-fists and even tied on a nice low kick after completing the circle on one of them.
David Mitchell defeats Simeon Thoresen by unanimous decision
The lone match streamed on Facebook actually cut out with just over a minute left in the 3rd round, switching to a shot of Jon Anik and Dominick Cruz mirroring the surprised confusion the viewers surely felt. Mitchell, a hard-nosed grappler, is a rudimentary striker for the UFC level but made kind of an ugly but improved boxing style work for him. He fired straight right hands from a hunched over stance that took their toll on Thoresen as the fight progressed.
The first was a closely matched striking battle with some heated moments, and Mitchell rolled out some submission creativity in the 2nd with a gogoplata and leg lock attempt from his guard. Overall, Mitchell was too determined and aggressive on the feet and proved to have the superior grappling chops as well.