In Round 2 of their affair, Dodson clipped the champion twice—sending Mighty Mouse tumbling awkwardly to the canvas on each occasion.
Dodson kept his composure and did not blitz for the finish, though, and that lack of a rush may have spelled his demise.
Johnson came back strong and clearly took Rounds 3, 4 and 5 in my book—winning a split decision for his efforts.
So what's next for Dodson?
Let's make this clear: Dodson looked good. Every question we had about him—his cardio, his heart and his composure under the big stage—was a non-factor in this bout.
Dodson showed an incredible will to win, excellent conditioning and the willingness to engage Mighty Mouse for the bout's duration. Not many guys can match Johnson's pace for 25 minutes, and Dodson performed admirably.
Furthermore, Dodson posed much more of a threat to Johnson than anybody else has thus far in the champion's career. The Jackson MMA fight hurt Johnson badly—a feat not to be taken lightly. Johnson is incredibly deft, and catching him with a hard shot is an achievement.
A rematch makes sense, as the fight was certainly competitive. Dodson clearly showed where he can win the fight, but that path is highly unlikely.
The UFC will want to build stars in the flyweight division, and my guess is that an immediate rematch does not tickle the company's fancy from a business standpoint.
So, let us turn to a UFC 156 matchup between Joseph Benavidez and Ian "Uncle Creepy" McCall.
This fight looms just around the corner on Feb 2, and the winner of that bout will be primed for a title shot.
What the winner should be primed for, however, is John Dodson.
The flyweight division is still disgustingly thin, and a victory by either Benavidez or McCall will only set up a not-so-juicy rematch with Johnson, and that is a bad idea.
Let the winner of Benavidez versus McCalll fight Dodson, and then that victor can then safely and reasonably stake his claim to the title of "No. 1 contender."
All things considered, I think Dodson deserves the winner of Benavidez vs. McCall.
It will postpone a championship fight rematch at least briefly, and it will better establish a No. 1 contender.
Right now, the division appears to be comprised of Mighty Mouse, three legitimate contenders and some other guys.
It's harsh to say, but the division is young, and the reality is that the talent pool is not deep enough yet to create fresh and intriguing title matchups.
It sucks, friends, but we are in for a rematch one way or another.
Dodson vs. either Benavidez or McCall will be a fresh matchup, and I think the UFC should capitalize on that opportunity.
For fans of MMA, heavy metal or general absurdity, Follow @HunterAHomistek.
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