UFC on Fox 6 went down Saturday night from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
In the main event, it was the first-ever defense of the UFC flyweight title when John Dodson challenged Demetrious Johnson. Also on the card, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson probably stepped into the Octagon for the final time in a tangle with up-and-coming Glover Teixeira.
How did the main-card fighters do? Here are grades for all eight Fox combatants.
Result: Ricardo Lamas def. Erik Koch by TKO, 2:32 of Round 2
A bigger, stronger Koch probably took the first round here. But in the second, Lamas took advantage of an overeager Koch, got on top of him, split him open with an elbow and stopped it with some furious, elbow-laced ground-and-pound.
Lamas' hit list at 145 pounds: Matt Grice, Cub Swanson, Hatsu Hioki and Erik Koch. With the Korean Zombie still nowhere in sight, who can make a better case than Lamas for the next title shot?
Photo credit: UFC via Five Ounces of Pain
Koch had a good first round, landing solid shots and fending off Lamas' takedown attempts. But he got caught in a compromising position by a better fighter and couldn't work his way out.
Result: Anthony Pettis def. Donald Cerrone by TKO, 2:35 of Round 1
Woooooo! That was just serious striking hotness from Mr. Anthony Pettis.
He even went off the cage one time, but this time it was a short knee instead of a kick. Still landed flush, though.
But that wasn't the showstopper. That honor goes to the perfect shin Pettis buried in Cowboy's liver. Cerrone backed up a step, paused, then fell over like a sack of feed. Pettis is so quick, so creative and so sharp, you don't even know you're hurt until it's too late.
"I ain't scared of anybody," Pettis told broadcaster Joe Rogan in the cage right after the fight. "I want the champ, I want that belt ASAP." Hard to argue with him after this.
Another big chance, another big fail for "Cowboy."
He talks a great game before and, in the case of overmatched opponents, during the fight. Heck, he's the Super Bowl XXXIV of doing that. But he just can't get over that hump in the big spot.
And every time the bank of his backside can't fund those vocal checks, it gets a little harder to take him seriously as a true elite.
Division: Light heavyweight
Result: Glover Teixeira def. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson by unanimous decision
It went just as predicted. By me. Jackson tried to make it a slugfest, but to no avail. Teixeira ultimately outboxed, outgrappled and outlasted "Rampage." It was an exciting fight, but it wasn't especially close.
I made a bunch of Glover Teixeira Kool-Aid jokes this week. And I stand by those Kool-Aid jokes. OH YEAH!
Seriously, though, give this man a contender now.
It was a great effort from the former champ. He just got tired and didn't seem to want any part of a ground exchange, which was sort of detrimental to his cause, seeing as how a good amount of the fight took place there.
Good luck to Jackson in Bellator, the boxing ring, the silver screen or whatever. It's fair to say he did in his UFC swan song what he did throughout his UFC career. Were you not entertained?
Result: Demetrious Johnson def. John Dodson by unanimous decision (retains UFC flyweight title)
Time and time again, Demetrious Johnson darted in and out like a sandpiper upon the beach. And truly in its relentlessness—nay, it's very timelessness—did the bird avail to grow some manner of kinship with the tides themselves.
But it was more than just the jabbing and skittering. Dodson rocked Johnson very hard in the second round with that seriously mean left hook. Johnson didn't help his case by insisting on repeatedly throwing a body kick that Dodson insisted even harder on catching.
But Johnson stayed patient and waited for his shot. And in a way, it was sort of the waiting itself. Like an elite basketball team that knows its opponent doesn't go 10 deep. You swim for the deep water, then you dive.
Johnson also showcased a quality many flyweights don't often get to showcase: a rock-solid chin. Dodson had Johnson rocked at various times, especially with some hard left hooks in the second round. But Johnson kept popping up, like a rubber ducky in the bathtub, or, eh some such.
Even though everyone knows his playbook, Johnson still executes it to a tee. Is that the definition of greatness? Hey, all I know is I love me some Mighty Mouse. Can't wait for his next fight.
Yeah, Dodson's kind of annoying, but he made a fan out of me Saturday night.
He hit Johnson hard but seemed to run out of options after watching Johnson recover like the liquid Terminator. Dodson is probably the most powerful fighter in the division, but he's not the fastest, and he's not the best.
Nevertheless, something tells me he'll be back.