The small guys take center stage on Saturday as 5’3, 125 pound Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson makes his first title defense against 5’3, 125 pound John Dodson. Both men are incredibly quick so expect to see a ton of movement with each man throwing a lot of strikes per round.
Johnson will be looking to solidify himself as the clear-cut top dog at 125 pounds, while Dodson will be looking to continue his current run of impressive performances and knockouts.
On the undercard two lightweights, Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone, will be facing off and looking to impress enough to get a shot at the winner of the Lightweight Champion, Benson Henderson, and Gilbert Melendez fight. This fight should also feature a lot of striking as both of these men rely primarily on their striking to overwhelm his opponents.
The announcers won’t need to worry about filling time this Saturday as there should be plenty of play-by-play action to keep them busy. The question is, which two men will be able to enable their striking game plan on his opponents?
Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson (Featherweight Championship) – Keys to the Fight
|Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1)
John Dodson (15-5-0)
- Power: Not too many knockouts occur in the flyweight division, but Dodson has seven in his career including two in his last three fights. Johnson, on the other hand, only has two knockouts and none in his five UFC fights. Johnson has great footwork, but has a tendency to leave his hands low from time-to-time. If he makes that mistake against Dodson, will Dodson be quick enough and prepared to take advantage?
- Ground Game: Johnson may not have the most decorated wrestling background in the UFC, but he has secured 33 takedowns at a 53 percent success rate during his career. Dodson generally does not bring any ground game to the party as he has only two takedowns in his professional career, but also has also never been taken down while in the UFC. Johnson has used late takedowns to steal rounds in many of his fights and will need a few takedowns in this fight to keep Dodson and that power off-balance and to make Dodson prove if he has any game off his back.
- Experience: Dodson may 20 career professional fights, but this will be his first time in a UFC title fight and he is taking a huge step up in competition. Meanwhile Johnson fought in the UFC Flyweight Four-Man Tournament to win the title and had to defeat two of the top five fighters at 125 pounds to win the title. Will Dodson be prepared for the skill and speed of Johnson? And can he make the in-fight changes necessary to defeat such a strong opponent?
Johnson’s quickness edge will allow him to score multiple takedowns throughout this fight and frustrate Dodson who is not used to spending much time on his back. Dodson is a strong fighter, but his lack of experience in big fights will show through as he struggles to make adjustments to Johnson’s speed and wrestling.
Demetrious Johnson by Unanimous Decision
Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone – Keys to the Fight
|Anthony Pettis (13-2-0)
Donald Cerrone (19-4-0)
- Speed vs. Technique: Pettis is a very unorthodox fighter who uses will try almost anything (jump kick off of the fence against Benson Henderson for example) in the Octagon. Pettis relies on his speed and power to overcome any awkward position he puts himself in, whether on the ground or on the feet, and utilizes the element of surprise to catch his opponents with big strikes. Cerrone prefers to use his footwork to keep the fight in the center of the Octagon so that he can utilize his kicks and pump his jab to keep his opponents at a distance. Cerrone than picks his spots to look for his power shots or even takedown attempts where he can strong submission game to finish fights as well.
Pettis’ style will leave himself exposed to some bad situations that Cerrone will be able to take advantage, however, Cerrone won’t have the one power strike to finish the fight. Pettis won’t become frustrated by a slow start and will eventually catch on to Cerrone’s movements and pace, which will spell trouble for Cerrone.
Anthony Pettis by TKO in 3rd Round