Sometimes the odds don’t always tell the whole story. A perfect example of that fact was the Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez bout that took place on September 22, 2012. That bout, the co-main event of UFC 152, saw Benavidez enter the Octagon as a minus-280 favorite over Johnson (+210). After 25 fast-paced minutes, Johnson, the underdog, walked away with his hand raised and a shiny new UFC title wrapped around his waist.
Johnson will hope history doesn’t repeat itself on Saturday night at UFC on Fox 6 when he defends that title for the first time, facing John Dodson. Johnson will enter this fight as the favorite (-240) over Dodson (+190).
In case you were unaware, and if your knowledge of this bout goes no further than the advertising Fox has been running leading into the event, you were unaware, the title at stake is the UFC flyweight title. Any mention of that weight division has been conspicuously absent from the commercials, which have simply labeled Saturday’s main event as a “Championship Fight.”
Some fighters would probably be bothered by that fact, their ego bruised, but not Johnson, he’s more than satisfied with the advertising and his placement at the top of the fight card:
“I’m grateful that they gave us that time slot and they advertised the fight in general. They could have not advertised it all. They could have just said, you guys are fighting on January 26, show up, nobody get hurt, have a great camp.” Johnson added, “I’m just a guy trying to do well in his career and put on a good show.”
Unfortunately for him, some mixed martial arts fans are reluctant to see the lower weight divisions as good shows. These fans deride the lack of knockouts in the smaller fighters, labeling the fast hands and footwork as style over substance. Johnson feels that through time and education that opinion will change: “As they get more educated in the sport they’ll see we’re using that speed to set things up, it’s just going to take time.”
Johnson then went into more detail about the speed the flyweight fighters bring into the Octagon: “When a fast car goes past, everyone thinks ‘oh, that car was fast’ but let’s see what’s under the hood, oh yeah, this guy's got headers, intake, this is what’s making it fast. That’ll transition into mixed martial arts eventually.”
Until the fans catch up, “We just gotta go out there and put on a good show and that’s all we gotta do.” He and Dodson will get the opportunity to do just that in the main event from Chicago’s United Center on Saturday night.
***All quotes obtained first hand by B/R MMA.