My review of UFC on FOX 6, which was a fun card that seemed a little disappointing by the end.
Demetrious Johnson def. John Dodson: This one went pretty much as I expected and feared. Dodson had his moments, especially in the early rounds when he was able to drop Johnson on a couple of occasions, but Johnson proved to be extremely durable throughout the course of the 25-minutes. Honestly though, I found myself struggling to care about this fight. Nothing against Johnson or Dodson, but I have no investment in either fighter and knew, especially after round two, that the fight wasn’t going to be finished. I think Johnson is an extremely talented fighter with the way he puts things together, but when you know that he’s not a threat to finish a fight, it’s tough to get excited about watching him. Johnson did what he does in this fight. He survived a couple of knockdowns, kept pushing the pace, mixed up his striking, landed some takedowns, and won thanks to his aggressiveness and superior cardio. Dodson had his chances but whenever he hurt Johnson, he was too slow to follow up. I thought Johnson would be more patient and let Dodson come to him, but instead he went on the attack and turned Dodson into a counter puncher. Dodson landed but as the fight wore on, the pace caught up to him and Johnson easily took the championship rounds. With the lack of depth in the flyweight division, Johnson will likely rematch the winner of the upcoming Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall fight. Neither rematch is a bad fight, but I don’t know how long the flyweight division can survive with the same couple of guys battling for the belt.
Glover Teixeira def. Quinton Jackson: Jackson was game for the first time in seemingly forever, using his jab, throwing combinations, trying to throw kicks, and sort of looking for takedowns. But he just doesn’t have elite level skills anymore. Teixeira played Jackson’s game for the majority of the 15 minutes and won. Teixeira was just the better boxer and landed the cleaner, more powerful strikes. Not only that but he took down Jackson at will, which was rather surprising given that he has no wrestling background and Jackson has pretty good takedown defense when he actually tries. Did this fight prove that Teixeira is ready for Jon Jones? No, but it did give him a big victory over a big name on a big stage. I would’ve liked to see him use more kicks, but I honestly think that he wanted to prove he could box with Jackson and win. Was it a risk? Yes, but once he rocked him in the first round and saw how easy he was getting takedowns, I don’t think he was too worried. Even if you don’t think Teixeira can beat Jones, at least he’s someone new in the division. He, along with Alexander Gustaffson and Gegard Mousasi, are fresh contenders in a division that’s felt the same (besides the emergence of Jones) for years now. I don’t know if Jackson is done, but if he’s not, I hope he takes this year or so to heal up and re-dedicate himself to the sport. I highly doubt he’ll do that, which is why I think he’s done at the top level at the very least. Jackson is good at keeping is name in the press, even if it’s for the wrong reasons, so I guarantee that we haven’t heard the last from him.
Anthony Pettis def. Donald Cerrone: Boy did this fight, more specifically, Donald Cerrone, disappoint. Pettis came out southpaw and that seemed to throw off Cerrone’s entire game. Pettis tagged him at will, which isn’t really a surprised given how hittable Cerrone is, but after a couple of body kicks, Cerrone was done. I know that a well placed liver shot or two can end a fighters night, but Cerrone is durable fighter with excellent cardio, so to see him wilt the way he did was a complete shock. Pettis definitely earned a title shot with this performance, and no matter who wins between Ben Henderson and Gilbert Melendez, I can’t wait for that fight. Pettis’ takedown defense is still a bit questionable but his boxing looked much improved in this fight, the southpaw stances gives opponents something new to think about, and his kicking game is still on point. Plus, he always has the unpredictability factor. In this fight, he threw a springboard knee that landed, but was missed by a lot of people because of how quick it was. Pettis is pretty much the only fighter in the sport who uses the cage to his advantage as a striker, but not in the traditional sense. Instead of cutting off the cage, he cuts it off and then uses it as a weapon. It not only takes creativity to do such a thing, but it takes balls and athleticism. If other fighters thought about it, they could probably do the same things Pettis does. But Pettis doesn’t think. He just does it and makes it work, which is really amazing if you think about it. It’s tough to say where Cerrone goes from here. I still think he’s a top ten lightweight, but he’s lost every big fight he’s been in, which makes him hard to book because you don’t want him knocking off contenders, but you also can’t have him fighting for a title shot given that he’s 2-2 in his last four fights.
Ricardo Lamas def. Erik Koch: The first round was exactly what I feared. Koch did well from range but Lamas stuck to him for the majority of the five minutes and tried some failed takedowns. The second round was not what I expected though. Lamas slipped, Koch tried to follow up, ended up on his back, and then got cut and beat up before the fight was stopped. I have to give Lamas a lot of credit because Koch is a durable guy and it looked like he was the one who screwed up with the slip, but he turned things around and got the stoppage. Lamas did a nice job standing in the guard of Koch and raining down elbows and punches. Koch has a decent guard so Lamas was smart to completely avoid it and do damage from a standing position. I don’t know if the year long layoff hurt Koch, but this obviously wasn’t the performance he wanted after he had a title shot on two seperate occasions last year. I expect Koch to bounce back, but his title aspirations are now on hold until at least 2014. Lamas could be next in line for a title shot, but considering that the UFC favors money fights over deserving contenders, I wouldn’t bet on Lamas challenging for the title just yet. First off, Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar 2 is a real possibility given the closeness of Edgar’s fights and Chan Sung Jung could jump the line seeing as he has a cult following that isn’t matched by any other fighter at featherweight. Lamas has definitely earned a title shot, but that doesn’t mean much in today’s UFC.