The Ultimate Fighting Championship is back in Chicago for UFC on FOX 6 this evening from the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls (NBA) and Chicago Blackhawks (NHL).
Tonight's action begins with the preliminary card of the event at approximately 4:30 p.m. ET, while the main card goes live on FOX at 8 p.m. ET.
The highly-anticipated event features a flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson, the first-ever champion, and top contender John Dodson, along with a co-main event between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Glover Teixeira.
Join Fightday.com throughout this afternoon and evening for live updates from each fight that goes down tonight.
David Mitchell vs. Simeon Thoresen
The opening bout of UFC on FOX 6 got things off to a good start as David Mitchell and Simeon Thoresen gave the Chicago fans a show. The first round took place on the feet, featuring a fun back-and-forth battle that Mitchell appeared to get the better of. Then, in the second, he took total control, dominating the fight in all areas. Prior to the start of the third, the cageside doctor took a long look at Thoresen, whose face was bloodied and beaten, but the decision was ultimately to let the fight continue, at least for the moment. In the third and final frame, Mitchell was off to an aggressive start, but a game Thoresen fired back, causing the stand up war to turn into a grappling battle on the mat. From there, Mitchell's offense countered any possible offense from Thoresen, leading to a lopsided decision from the judges.
Official Decision: Mitchell def. Thoresen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Rafael Natal vs. Sean Spencer
The second fight of the evening, like the first, featured a visit from the doctor. This visit, however, came early in the opening round after an inadvertent eye poke yielded a squinting, backpedalling Spencer, grabbing at his left eye. The fight continued, and Spencer had success early, but Natal came on strong late, finishing the round in the mount looking for a submission. And, just 90 seconds into the second, the Brazilian once again had the underdog in trouble again, working the fight to the ground. Spencer (just barely) survived the round, entering the third in need of a stoppage. He wouldn't find it, instead taking a brutal beating and eventually tapping to an anaconda choke.
It should be noted -- Rogan and Goldberg touched on it several times -- that Natal was significantly larger than Spencer, who took this fight on short notice and is a welterweight.
Official Decision: Natal def. Spencer via submission (arm triangle choke) at 2:13 of Round 3
Mike Russow vs. Shawn Jordan
Saying Mike Russow was completely dominant in the first round of his bout against Shawn Jordan would be an understatement. He battered his opponent with crisp shots and sharp combinations, and Jordan's face showed it in between rounds. But a rough first round was apparently Jordan's plan all along as the second frame was a completely different fight. Jordan brought it to the hometime fighter with aggression on the feet and takedown attempts left and right. He had Russow in trouble at several different moments, but never more than when he flattened him out while in the back mount. Russow covered up, while Jordan loaded vicious hooks from the top, avoiding the back of the head. Brutal first for Russow, but a far more brutal finish by Jordan in the second.
Official Decision: Jordan def. Russow via technical knockout at 3:48 of Round 2
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Ryan Bader
Ryan Bader had won just twice in his last five fights heading into his bout against the 42-year-old Matyushenko, but he hardly looked like a struggling light heavyweight tonight. Bader crushed "The Janitor" with a hook that floored the veteran. The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 winner followed his injured opponent to the floor, locking on a choke and forcing a tap in just 50 seconds. Impressive performance from a man who was once a top prospect in the division. He know holds the record for the fastest submission in the history of the UFC light heavyweight division.
Official Decision: Bader def. Matyushenko via submission (guillotine choke) at 0:50 of Round 1
Mike Stumpf vs. Pascal Krauss
Pascal Krauss should be at least moderately shocked right now. After all, his striking clinic was not enough to put away an extremely tough Mike Stumpf, fighting in his home state of Illinois. Krauss was dynamic, landing at will throughout the majority of the 15 minutes of action. His combinations were sharp, and his flying uppercuts and front head kicks added some extra spice to his striking game. While Stumpf was able to be more competitive in the grappling aspect of the bout, and even put together some nice combinations of his own on the feet, Krauss never once seemed uncomfortable. Stumpf, on the other hand, never seemed to be able to find any options to turn the momentum of the fight in his favor, let alone discover a route to victory. Strauss takes a big step forward in the division, and Stumpf may be on his way out of the UFC with his second straight loss in the promotion.
Official Decision: Krauss def. Stumpf via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Clay Guida vs. Hatsu Hioki
Former lightweight contender Clay Guida did little in his featherweight debut to convince Dana White and company that he belongs in the 145 lb. title picture. He struggled in the opening round against a counter-striking Hioki, who landed far more strikes on the feet. In the second, Guida abandoned the striking game, working his takedowns early, though he did little, if not less, than his opponent. The third was more of the same as Guida earned an early slam, followed by several minutes of no action from "The Carpenter." However, the takedowns earned Guida the win on two judges' scorecards, trumping the lopsided striking match up and the grappling offense from Hioki from the bottom. Guida wins in his featherweight debut, but with two uneventful fights in 2012, he likely didn't make a big move up the 145 lb. ladder.
Official Decision: Guida def. Hioki via split-decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Matt Wiman vs. TJ Grant
Whatever consistency TJ Grant lacked at welterweight he has discovered at the lightweight mark. Grant, who met UFC veteran Wiman in the final preliminary card fight of the evening, was simply the better striker in this affair, landing better and more powerful shots throughout the 4:51 of action. After dazing Wiman once, the two met in the clinch, and Grant scored a vicious elbow which sent his opponent to the floor. A few more strikes and TJ Grant advanced to 4-0 as a lightweight in the UFC. Oh, and he made the move to 155 lbs. less than 16 months ago.
Official Decision: Grant def. Wiman via knockout at 4:51 of Round 1
Ricardo Lamas vs. Erik Koch
Erik Koch sat out all of 2012 due to an injury to Jose Aldo and then his own injury in their rescheduled bout. And Koch did nothing to get back into the top contender's slot after a disappointing performance against Lamas. The fight began with a slow pace as Koch found himself pressed up against the cage for the majority of the opening round. Lamas didn't make any big impressions in the first five minutes, but the second round was as clear cut a round as he could have had.
Lamas attempted to work the clinch game again, but slipped to the mat in the second frame. But when Koch attempted to earn top position, Lamas reversed and found himself on top of the former top contender. From there he landed vicious shots from, cutting Koch open. Spurting blood, Koch attempted to survive, but the pressure from Lamas was far too much. He likely finds himself in line for a title shot after featherweight champ Jose Aldo and top contender Frankie Edgar do battle at UFC 156.
Official Decision: Lamas def. Koch via technical knockout at 2:32 of Round 2
Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone
Donald Cerrone wanted Anthony Pettis for a long time, but he may be regretting this match up after a rough night against "Showtime." The final WEC lightweight champion stood toe-to-toe with "Cowboy" from the opening bell, throwing plenty of flashy kicks an strikes, even attempting a "Showtime kick" at one point.
While the versatile strike missed, most of Pettis' strikes found a home, and Cerrone could mount little offense against his foe. At the midpoint of the opening round, the two engaged, and Pettis landed a vicious knee to the body. Cerrone crumbled to the ground, and the fight was stopped just seconds after.
In his post-fight interview, Pettis asked what more he could do to earn a title shot against Benson Henderson, the man he defeated in the last-ever WEC fight. Joe Rogan, and likely the majority watching, seem to think he's done enough to earn a rematch against the champ, or Gilbert Melendez should the Strikeforce champ earn the belt later this year from "Bendo."
Official Decision: Pettis def. Cerrone via technical knockout at 2:35 of Round 2
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira
If his bout against Glover Teixeira was the final UFC fight for Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, it was hardly the picture perfect finish to a great career.
"Rampage" struggled against Teixeira's power in the early going, covering up to defend far more than opening up to throw counters. The Brazilian had the fighter-turned-actor in trouble several times in the first round, but Jackson started putting things together after weathering the early storm.
After making it through the first, Jackson's combos looked heavier and were more accurate, while Teixeira would fire back about as often. The Brazilian attempted to work the fight down and, while he was able to earn a takedown, "Rampage" always managed to work his way back up.
That was not the case in the third and final round as an exhausted Jackson, aside from a dynamic start, fell off early. Teixeira weathered the early violence from "Rampage" and then took the fight down basically at will. While Jackson was able to stand after the first takedown, he was so spent that even the most telegraphed takedown attempts were successful.
Teixeira finished the fight on top, hammering away on "Rampage," but unable to get the finish.
Official Decision: Teixeira def. Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson
Dodson's power and speed were both apparent in the first round, and Johnson ate a big shot in the early going. Though he recovered, it was not until late in the opening frame when Johnson finally managed to hunt down Dodson, who dodged plenty of combos with his speed.
But Johnson's first wasn't all chasing and missing as he made Dodson worry about the takedown as well. Though Dodson never was taken down long, Johnson's wrestling helped make the round a close one.
The second round, however, was not as close thanks to the power of Dodson.
Unlike the first, Dodson found a home for his big left hand on several occasions, hurting Johnson more than anyone has in the UFC or WEC. Johnson managed to survive the five minutes, even putting together some solid combinations, but Dodson's power always seemed to come out just as Johnson was getting comfortable.
Going into the third round, the first-ever flyweight champ was at best tied with the challenger, though it was perhaps more likely he was down two rounds to none. And though it wasn't a vast improvement of a round for Johnson, it was his best thus far.
The champ consistently pushed forward, pressing the action, while Dodson began throwing (and landing) far fewer power shots. Johnson capitalized late with a very nice takedown, securing the final round before the championship frames.
"Mighty Mouse" kept that momentum rolling into the second, taking the fight to the ground immediately, but during a scramble, the fight was stopped due to an illegal knee from Johnson. Dodson appeared hurt at first, but, fortunately, was able to continue.
With a newfound fire, Dodson restarted with a faster pace, but Johnson quickly countered that with heavier pressure, more clinching, and a greater threat of a takedown.
When the fight went back to the clinch again, Johnson locked onto his opponent's head and worked knees to the head and body, bloodying up Dodson badly. The contender broke away in the final seconds and blasted off a nice shot, but he was far from the victor in that round.
Heading into the fifth round, it seemed likely that the final frame would determine the winner.
Johnson had little intention of letting Dodson back into this fight, immediately working to the clinch and taking the fight to the floor. But Dodson worked his way back up and even earned a brief takedown later in the round.
Dodson could not, however, slow down the relentless pace of Johnson for any lengthy amount of time, allowing the champion to earn points much quicker than the contender.
But Johnson wanted more than points; he wanted a finish. With under two minutes to go the two fell back in the clinch, and Johnson went to work with big knees and big uppercuts for the next minute. Dodson survived, but not before eating a dozen more strikes in the final 10 seconds.
Official Decision: Johnson def. Dodson via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 48-47)