These two fighters may be short in stature (both are 5'3"), but they are not short on talent. Dodson has surprising power for his size, and Johnson has serious grappling skills. Both of these men have incredible speed as well. All of these attributes and more add up to what should be an awesome main event.
The exciting match-ups don't end with the main event, as we will also see Rampage Jackson take on Glover Teixeira, as well as Donald Cerrone facing off against fellow lightweight stud Anthony Pettis.
Whether it's the title defense or any other match up on the fight card, there's plenty of reasons to catch this free UFC event.
After starting his career 12-0, Ryan Bader has since lost three of his last five fights and will be coming close to losing his relevance in the UFC if he loses to Matyushenko. The 29-year-old Bader will be facing one of the UFC’s all-time greats in 42-year-old Matyushenko, who has contrarily won three of his last five bouts.
If Bader wins, he will have a chance to become a contender for the light heavyweight title.
This fight could very well become a slugfest sooner than later, with both fighters throwing big punches right away. Both fighters will try and end this as soon as possible, so look for them to try and land some bombs within the first couple minutes of the fight.
I believe the key to a Bader victory will be his wrestling background. If he can take Matyushenko down and ground-and-pound him from there, then I believe Bader will win. If this fight turns out to be a stand up battle, then I think Bader will have a hard time handling Matyushenko.
However this fight turns out, it will be an exciting match up between the UFC’s newer generation and it’s older generation.
For years, Cerrone was at the top of the food chain in the WEC, and ever since he’s joined the UFC he has continued that success. Cerrone is 6-1 in the UFC, winning eight of his last nine fights.
Pettis has also had success in the UFC after making a name for himself in the WEC. Pettis has tallied victories over big names, such as the current lightweight champion Ben Henderson and most recently a first round dominance of Joe Lauzon.
Whoever wins this fight will likely be next in line for a title shot, and whoever it is will definitely give Henderson a challenge.
This match up has fight of the night written all over it, so expect an exciting match between these two.
Ever since he was in Pride, the man known as Rampage has been one of the most fun fighters to watch inside and outside of the ring. From stunning knockouts to powerful slams and fierce howls, Rampage has always put on a show, but the show may soon be over for the Tennessee native.
Coming off of two tough losses, Rampage is looking to rebound against one of the UFC’s toughest 205-pounders. Teixeira has not lost since 2006, an impressive 17-fight win streak. Both fighters have tremendous power and can finish fights in an instant.
I believe Rampage’s career will go one of two ways after this fight: If he wins, then he may be able to build some momentum and end his career on a high note. If he loses, I don’t see Rampage in the UFC for much longer.
At 34 years of age, it is evident that Rampage has lost a step and cannot compete at the same level he used to. It would be tough seeing such an impressive and storied career end, but it looks like the end of the Rampage era might be on it’s way.
One of the underlying story lines of this match-up is that neither of these fighters have ever been knocked out or submitted.
While it is very possible that this fight could go to a decision (or even a draw), I don't believe it will. Dodson is one of—if not the—strongest flyweights and knows how to finish fights fast.
Conversely, Johnson has a knack for being able to pull out submission victories when he was on the verge of defeat.
This will be a hard fought battle between these two fighters, and I don't think it will go to the judge's scorecards.
One of these fighters will be finished for the first time in their careers.
In Demetrious Johnson’s first title defense, he will be faced with the unfavorable task of taking on one of the UFC’s top flyweights in John Dodson.
Dodson has shown incredible power in his past fights, with six of his 14 wins coming by way of knockout.
Dodson is not only undefeated in the UFC, but is also on a five-fight win streak. He will be Johnson’s next hurdle on his quest to validate himself as a champion after barely edging out former champion Joseph Benavidez in a split-decision victory last September.
There is no doubt that Johnson is a talented fighter, but this upcoming fight with Dodson will determine whether he is a true champion. Expect fireworks from these two.