UFC on Fox 6: Six Things to Watch for at Johnson vs. Dodson
The UFC's Fox network broadcasts are quickly becoming destination television for mixed martial arts fans, and this Saturday's UFC on Fox 6 event from Chicago is no exception.
Fans of the National Football League have been subjected to repeated commercials during NFL playoff broadcasts, which means that unless you've been living under a rock, there's a pretty good chance you're aware this show is going down. Besides Rampage Jackson, you may not have a clue who else is fighting on the card, but we'll get into that shortly.
Before we begin, I'll tell you one thing: This is going to be an excellent card. The fights are perfect stylistic match-ups and are truly a display of Joe Silva and Sean Shelby's excellent match-making abilities. We may see a new contender or two emerge in the featherweight and lightweight divisions, and we may see the end of an era in the UFC.
And above all else, it's free. Free! You have no excuse for missing it. And I'll give you six reasons why in the following slides, so let's get started.
There's Some Kind of Championship Fight
If you've watched any NFL playoff broadcasts on Fox over the past few weeks, you've no doubt noticed the plethora of commercials touting UFC on Fox 6.
There's the requisite mention of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, the undoubted star of the entire show. And then? We discover that there's a battle between Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson for the "World Title." There's literally no mention of the fact that Johnson and Dodson are flyweights.
Why did the UFC and/or Fox elect to omit this information? Are they afraid that fans, hearing that the main event features two guys who weigh 125 pounds, would tune out while boasting to their friends that they could "take" the little fellers in the cage?
Don't laugh. I've heard something along those same lines very recently. The very notion of an out-of-shape and untrained MMA fan firmly believing they'd have any chance in a fight against a top-ranked flyweight may seem hilarious to you, because you're probably smart. But if you fall in the same category as the guy who told me he could beat Demetrious Johnson, despite never having trained a single second of any MMA discipline in his entire life, then you're most definitely not very smart.
But I understand the marketing effort here. The UFC is trying to capture as large of an audience as possible, and they don't want to alienate the idiots who believe that smaller fighters are somehow less skilled than their larger compatriots.
So instead of a full-on marketing effort about this awesome flyweight fight, we'll dance around their size and just promote it as a world title fight. At this point, it's up to Johnson and Dodson—and Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall at UFC 156—to try and change the outdated notion that little guys can't fight.
John Dodson Actually Has Real Power
John Dodson is an absolute blast to watch, and he's a real threat to Demetrious Johnson's flyweight title reign.
Dodson has the requisite flyweight speed and technique, but he also mixes in plenty of power in his hands and feet. Don't believe me? Check out this tweet:
Yes, Dodson knocks down his opponents three times more often than your average heavyweight. So the next time someone tries to tell you that they can't watch flyweights because they don't have any knockout power, drop some actual science on their head and see if that shuts them up. Or make them watch Joseph Benavidez crushing Yasuhiro Urushitani in the face last year.
If they're still telling you that the little guys can't hit, then you need to take away their MMA fan card, because they don't know what they're talking about.
The Last Tempation of Rampage Jackson
A lot of copy has been dedicated to what is believed to be Rampage Jackson's final fight in the UFC, but let's do a quick recap: Jackson feels like he's been mistreated by the UFC (like the time Dana White personally bailed him out of an Orange County jail when Jackson went on an energy drink binge and decided that leading police on a high-speed chase in his monster truck was a good idea), so he's going to leave the promotion after this fight.
Jackson is disillusioned with mixed martial arts (which, in Jackson's mind, should pretty much be boxing with smaller gloves), so he may go try his hand at boxing or kickboxing or something else where they don't do any of that pesky grappling.
The UFC doesn't fit Jackson's worldview, so he's going to take his ball and go home, or to Bellator or somewhere else where he'll quickly discover that mixed martial arts is mixed martial arts pretty much anywhere he goes.
At this point, I've stopped trying to make sense of anything Jackson says or does. As I said on this week's edition of The Ultimate Show, it's long past time for Jackson to exit the spotlight.
A Tipping Point for Glover Teixeira
Alexander Gustafsson may be the light heavyweight division's top prospect, but there's little question that Glover Teixeira is the scariest.
A complete fighter with a penchant for violence, Teixiera will be looking for the biggest win of his career when he takes on the not-quite-departed Rampage Jackson. If Teixeira finishes Jackson in violent fashion (an outcome I believe to be quite likely) he'll be vaulted high up in the rankings and will be in that fabled "mix" that Dana White so lovingly discusses.
Teixeira has a chance to make an impact here. It's an extremely favorable stylistic matchup for him because Jackson abhors the idea of going to the ground. And a dominant win over Jackson, especially one that sees Teixeira score a finish, would no doubt create a sense of gratitude in White and Lorenzo Fertitta.
And as we all know, being on White and Fertitta's good side is a good thing.
The Next Featherweight Contender
Jose Aldo's defending his featherweight title against Frankie Edgar next week at UFC 156, but Aldo's next opponent may be determined this weekend when Erik Koch takes on Ricardo Lamas. Or it may come from another UFC on Fox 6 bout entirely, but we'll get into that in the next slide.
Koch and Lamas are both riding waves of momentum heading into their fight on the Fox 6 main card, and though it hasn't officially been billed as such, it's likely that this fight will determine Aldo's next challenger. Unless, you know, both fighters put in underwhelming performances.
In that case, the next title shot may go to the fighter in the next slide.
Clay Guida's Second Chance
After petering out at lightweight, Clay Guida has a chance for a fresh start when he faces Hatsu Hioki on the UFC on Fox 6 preliminary card.
Guida's gone through his entire career with the reputation for being an exciting fighter, but his last bout against Gray Maynard nearly erased all of the goodwill Guida had built up since debuting in the UFC.
Guida has a chance to put that notion into an early grave while also cementing himself as a potential challenger for Jose Aldo's championship.