Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1) defends his title for the first time against heavy-handed John Dodson (14-5).
Johnson took care of business in the flyweight tournament, and looked fantastic against Joseph Benavidez in the finals to earn the title. Dodson offers a different kind of challenge for Johnson.
Dodson won The Ultimate Fighter and then dropped to flyweight, where he has gone 2-0 to earn his title shot.
This will be an interesting fight from a tactical perspective. What will each of their game plans be as they enter the title fight? That will decide who comes out on top, as the two are evenly matched.
Johnson will need to mix up his striking and wrestling, and he is one of the very best at doing so. If he gets caught up in a striking exchange with Dodson he could be staring at the lights. Dodson needs to find a way to get Johnson on his back.
Both fighters are quick, but in a different way. I believe that makes the difference in this fight. Dodson is more explosive, and over the long haul that will wear on him. He will slow down first. Johnson takes advantage in the championship rounds.
Betting Odds: Johnson (-220) against Dodson (+190) at www.bovada.lv.
Prediction: Johnson defeats Dodson via submission (rear-naked choke) in the fourth round.