UFC

John Dodson and the UFC's Quickest Athletes

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistJune 5, 2014

John Dodson and the UFC's Quickest Athletes

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Speed is often the determining factor between getting your hand raised or collecting your wits.

    It's an innate ability to outpace and outpoint your opponents wherever the fight may go.

    From jabs to takedowns, head movement to footwork, speed is one of the most important attributes any fighter can possess.

    With that said, based on perennial success and barrier-breaking fight styles, here are the five quickest athletes in the UFC today.

Dominick Cruz

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    Eric Jamison/Associated Press

    Shelved by numerous injuries, people have begun to forget the dominance that former UFC bantamweight kingpin Dominick Cruz forged when he was an active Octagon participant.

    Blessed with one of the most deceptive and technical striking games in the sport, Cruz is infamous for his ability to close distances by implementing world-class footwork and nipping angles in the bud.

    It helps Cruz to be tall and lengthy, but that's not the only reason he's able to hit opponents before they hit him.

    Instead, his collective approach to striking and near perfect movement creates quickness in crevasses otherwise unexplored.

Jose Aldo

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    Felipe Dana/Associated Press

    As one of the best pound-for-pound champions in all of MMA, UFC featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo simply needs to be fast.

    Surrounded by some of the most athletic and gifted fighters in the promotion, the young Brazilian is consistently put to the test.

    To little surprise, Aldo has passed with flying colors.

    The reason why not only lies within his ability to stay on his feet, but more importantly his offensive output, which is fueled by unprecedented calculation and quickness.

    Aldo has been ridiculed in the past for not going for the kill every second of every fight, but his unparalleled leg kicks are more than enough to keep his head above water.

T.J. Dillashaw

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Given the fact that former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao should be somewhere on this list, it makes even more sense that current titleholder T.J. Dillashaw is positioned somewhere near the top.

    With arguably the most impressive performance of all time by a contender thought to have no chance of stunning a divisional king, Team Alpha Male's Dillashaw made Barao look like a flat-footed lightweight at UFC 173.

    The 28-year-old did so by maintaining an in-your-face pace similar to that of a killer jack rabbit. For nearly 25 straight minutes, Dillashaw utilized boundless footwork, unpredictable in-and-out striking and one of the quickest jabs you'll ever see.

    If the kid can keep this up, he may be unbeatable at 135 pounds.

John Dodson

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    USA TODAY Sports

    There's a reason why flyweight standout John Dodson is known as "The Magician."

    As a fighter sculpted by speed and power, he often does things that may seem impossible.

    Now while there's no actual sleight-of-hand trickery behind Dodson's success, he does produce blinding quickness every time we see him.

    Whether it's leaping hooks, flying knees, deadly combinations or celebratory backflips, the 125-pound dynamo does things as if he can't wait to leave the cage.

Demetrious Johnson

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    USA TODAY Sports

    With a track record drenched in success-by-speed, labeling UFC flyweight champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson the pound-for-pound fastest fighter in the world seems right as rain.

    The designation is not only for the fact that Johnson sped past John Dodson when the two met at UFC on Fox 6, but more so because his quickness has never been seen before.

    When the 27-year-old steps inside the Octagon, swift combinations and instantaneous takedowns seem to shower down at will.

    Add in Johnson's power, technicality and precision, and you have one of the sport's most dominant competitors today.

     

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