Johnson edges out Dodson, controls championship rounds
The first-ever UFC flyweight Demetrious Johnson looked to defend his belt against the power of top contender John Dodson at UFC on FOX 6. While he failed to avoid every power shot from the challenger, Johnson endurance and relentless pressure were enough to outpoint the former Ultimate Fighter winner.
Dodson's power and speed were both apparent in the first round, and Johnson struggled to find his rhythm against him. While the first round was close, a powerful strike from Dodson floored Johnson, giving him the definitive edge ni that frame.
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 the third wasn't a vast improvement of a round for Johnson, it was his best thus far in the contest.
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.
Dodson survived, but Johnson walked away with his first title defense -- the first flyweight title defense in UFC history.
Following the fight, Chael Sonnen made an interesting point on the FOX broadcast, citing the illegal knee as a controversial aspect of the fight. If Johnson had been deducted a point for the knee, the fight would've been scored a majority draw.
Regardless of said controversy, with a lack of depth at flyweight, Dodson likely isn't too far away from another title shot.
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