UFC on Fox 6 Breakdown: TMN Predicts Johnson, Grant Win, Rampage Subbed
Back in September, the UFC held the first ever Flyweight Championship bout. Many expected the heavy favourite, Joseph Benavidez, to walk through Demetrious Johnson. That was far from the case, as the man many know as Mighty Mouse, rose to the occasion and was able to control the fight despite being the smaller fighter of the two. The decision victory put him in the history books as the first Flyweight title holder ever, as he prepares to defend the belt for the first time ever.
After a disappointing showing in Chicago in January 2012 on Fox, the UFC will look to make up for it as they return to the United Center on January 26th for UFC on Fox 6. The Flyweight title will be defended for the first time in the organizations history as the champ, Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson goes up against one of the hardest hitters in the division, John ‘The Magician’ Dodson. The UFC has put together another star studded card as Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson returns in what may be his last bout with the organization as he takes on Glover Teixeira. Canadian UFC veteran, TJ Grant, will also be fighting on the preliminary card.
The four main card bouts will be aired live on Sportsnet ONE in Canada and Fox in the US. There will be six preliminary bouts that will also be aired live on Sportsnet ONE in Canada and on FX in the US. There is one remaining preliminary bout that will be aired live on Facebook.
Now, for the main card breakdown:
UFC Flyweight Championship bout
(c) Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1) vs. John Dodson (14-5)
It is safe to say at this point that the fastest fighter in the UFC is Demetrious Johnson. After beating Joseph Benavidez, he proved that he is more than just a blur on your television; he is a legitimate Flyweight that carries quite a bit of versatility that makes him a tough fight. His opponent, John Dodson, has won all three of his bouts in the UFC, including the Ultimate Fighter 14 Bantamweight Final. He possesses rare knockout power as a Flyweight and if he properly lands, he could finish the fight and take the title home with him.
The Flyweight division is not a very deep one but it is evident that these two are up there with the best in the world. Johnson is one of the toughest fighters to train for in MMA considering his speed. Benavidez learned that the hard way. His pace is impossible to mimic and his striking is extremely accurate. Although he does not have power, his high rate of punches landed has given fighters trouble, including UFC Bantamweight Champion, Dominick Cruz.
Dodson is a fast fighter but has seemed to struggle at Flyweight so far in the UFC. Tim Elliot and Jussier da Silva gave him trouble with their speed but he ended up passing the test by defeating both, including an impressive knockout of da Silva. Dodson will need to wear down Johnson by hurting him early. If he is unable to do any damage, he will struggle to keep up with the pace of a fighter at Johnson’s level for five rounds.
Johnson has shown a tendency to take damage, as Ian McCall most recently proved. It really is tough to go against a guy with that speed and style, especially considering this fight will take place on the feet for the vast majority of the bout.
Prediction: Johnson via Unanimous Decision
Quinton Jackson (32-10) vs. Glover Teixeira (19-2)
Few fighters have seemed to lose interest as fast as the man fans know as Rampage. It has become a little sad to see Quinton Jackson become what he has become but at the end of the day, he still has high level talent if he puts a little effort in his training. He has a tough test ahead of him in future contender Glover Teixeira.
This fight was supposed to happen back in October at UFC 153 but Jackson had to unfortunately withdraw from the bout. This may be the perfect stage to end Jackson’s career with the UFC. He is a big name fighter and has made it clear he wants a stand up war. Unfortunately, his striking does not seem so deadly anymore. He has not scored a knockout victory since late 2008 and in his wins against Lyoto Machida and Matt Hamill he seemed more hesitant to get that knockout punch.
Upon entering the UFC, Teixeira had a massive following supporting him. Well, it is safe to assume he has let few people down after completely dismantling the likes of Kyle Kingsbury and Fabio Maldonado. Granted, both fighters are not exactly known to be top tier but he displayed unbelievable striking and grappling. It is safe to assume he does not give Jackson what he wants and stands and bangs with him though, regardless, this should be an awesome bout.
There is this strange sense of anger inside of Jackson as of late and it seems like he wants to knock Glover out and leave the UFC just to prove a point. This is his opportunity to show that he is still worthy of big money fights but it really is unfortunate that this will likely be the last of him in the biggest organization in the world. That being said, it is even more unfortunate knowing that he will likely lose to a better overall fighter. Jackson does not seem to have it in him anymore. Glover has been training with Machida and Chuck Liddell, both former opponents of Jackson, and will know what to expect from the former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion. He should be able to not only win, but get the finish.
Prediction: Teixeira via Rear Naked Choke Round 2
Anthony Pettis (15-2) vs. Donald Cerrone (19-4)
Finally, there is no more talk. Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone have been bickering at one another for a while now. These former WEC standouts are going to be able to settle their little rivalry inside the Octagon in front of millions and it is surely a guarantee that there will be fireworks.
Both fighters are similar in so many ways. They are excellent strikers and have very aggressive and active jiu-jitsu. It is rare to see Lightweights with such a knack to finish fights. Cerrone has been far more active since entering the UFC, winning six of seven bouts since the merger while Pettis has only fought three times. There is really no way of telling who is better where until they enter the cage and fight.
If this bout hits the mat, you can expect submission attempts, sweeps, and aggressive strikes being thrown. On the feet, Cerrone is very technical. His striking is crisp and he shows a lot of intelligence in his counters. The one aspect of this bout that may determine the outcome is the unpredictability of Pettis. They do call him Showtime for a reason. He is extremely explosive and powerful which could be what gets him the victory.
This fight is one of those rare occasions where it is impossible to legitimately predict and is not only likely going to receive Fight of the Night, but it is a fight that has major significance in their respective division. Cerrone’s fight with Nate Diaz may have shown a few flaws in his style and that also goes for his bout with Melvin Guillard, though it did not last very long. Pettis should barely be granted an extremely intense decision in this one.
Prediction: Pettis via Unanimous Decision
Erik Koch (13-1) vs. Ricardo Lamas (12-2)
At this point, you have to feel bad for Erik Koch. He had a title shot against Jose Aldo in July which had to be postponed because Aldo was injured. The bout was booked again in October but Koch ended up getting injured and replaced by Frankie Edgar. Now, the Featherweight division is a confusing train wreck and Koch is being stuck in the Octagon against an extremely tough Ricardo Lamas.
Lamas is coming off a career defining victory against former consensus number two Featherweight in the world, Hatsu Hioki. He was able to utilize his wrestling and dominate from top position. Both of these guys are definitely nearing a title shot and this is their opportunity to show what they got to potentially sell a fight against the Aldo/Edgar winner.
Lamas is an excellent wrestler with underrated striking. Koch is an excellent striker with underrated wrestling. He is not easy to get to the ground and if he manages to keep his distance, he can finish the fight against a guy that has been knocked senseless before (see Alcantara vs. Lamas). The thing that should worry Koch the most is his ring rust. He has not been inside the cage since September 2011 and this is not an easy test to return against.
The bout is simple, if it hits the ground, Lamas could grind out a decision. If he cannot impose his will against a very active Koch, expect Koch to get the finish. It should be a very interesting battle. This is another tough bout to pick but it is hard to go against Lamas, who has been on a tear at Featherweight.
Prediction: Lamas via Unanimous Decision
TJ Grant (19-5) vs. Matt Wiman (15-6)
Canadian Lightweight standout, TJ Grant, made his divisional debut in 2011 and has reeled off three straight wins against pretty solid competition. His last fight was against Evan Dunham, who is one of the most underrated talents in MMA. He got the decision victory in one of the better fights of 2012. He returns against Matt Wiman in what should be able to contend for Fight of the Night.
Grant and Wiman bring an exciting pace into the Octagon and both have extremely well rounded games. Wiman submitted Paul Sass in England, which few had predicted, and will be looking for an impressive three straight wins. These are two guys that have very technical styles, whether on the ground or on the feet but still manage to engage in wars.
Wiman is an awesome fighter and can win in many different ways but the size difference will likely make the difference here. Grant is the much larger fighter, considering he was a former Welterweight. His reach advantage should be able to maintain a legitimate advantage en route to an exciting decision victory to give Grant a fourth straight win.
Prediction: Grant via Unanimous Decision