COMMENTARY | On Saturday, January 26, 2013, UFC on Fox 6: Johnson vs. Dodson will take place in Chicago, Illinois. The end of the night will potentially reveal a new flyweight champion, witness the end of a tumultuous era, and possibly give way to a number one lightweight contender.
Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson: This flyweight bought is destined to be fast-paced and action-packed, as Demetrious Johnson enters into his first title defense since winning the 125lb. championship at UFC 152. Johnson is 16-2-1, and has never been knocked out or submitted. He is quick, possesses remarkable cardio, and brings a diverse arsenal of wrestling and unorthodox striking to the octagon. Johnson, 26, often capitalizes on his wrestling base, allowing him to set up striking combinations at will. At UFC on Fox 6, however, "Mighty Mouse" faces an opponent whose fighting style eerily resembles his own.
On Saturday, John Dodson, 28, will be fighting for his first UFC championship. The New Mexican native (14-5) is 8-2 in his last 10 fights. The Ultimate Fighter 14 Bantamweight winner also sports a decent amount of power in his hands, with 6 knockouts to his record. In a recent interview, Dodson expressed major excitement regarding his upcoming championship fight:
"How many people can say they're in the main event for their third fight in the UFC after only being in the UFC for a year? It's a great feeling, and I am blessed to be here. And I want to make sure I put on a good show. I'm fighting for flyweights across the world right now."
On January 26, Johnson and Dodson will clash. The speed and intensity with which these flyweights fight, accompanied by the high stakes of a championship bout, will most likely produce one of the greatest fights of 2013.
Quinton Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira: After all the complaining that Quinton Jackson has done about being taken advantage of by the UFC, with one fight left on his contract, the Tennessee native will face the up and coming Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Glover Teixeira.
Jackson has spent much of the past year feeling dissatisfied with "low pay" and "poor treatment" by the UFC. At the same time, he has also suffered two consecutive losses and has expressed a strong desire to leave to UFC as soon as his contract expires. Jackson exclaimed in an interview, "I'll fight anybody to get this last fight out of the way. I can't wait to leave the UFC and have nothing to do with them anymore."
Jackson's behavior and disappointment with the UFC does not appear to correlate with their support for him throughout the years, particularly after a run-in with the law in 2008. Regardless, Jackson hasn't won a fight since mid-2011.
Teixeira, on the other hand, has won his last 16 fights, with 11 knockouts and 5 submissions. He is highly-touted, but has yet to face a name opponent. A win over Jackson will more than likely place Teixeira among the top 10 light heavyweights in the world. For Jackson, however, after his fight on January 26, irrespective of the result, he'll leave the UFC as a once prominent world champion turned disgruntled ex-employee of the greatest MMA brand in the world.
Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone: This is one of the most anticipated fights of the lightweight division that dates back to the days of the now-defunct WEC. Both of these men have faced another WEC import and now UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. At WEC 43 and WEC 48, Henderson faced Donald Cerrone for the lightweight title. Cerrone lost to Henderson both times, by unanimous decision and guillotine, respectively. However, he is 8-1 in his last 9 fights, and beating Anthony Pettis would bring him closer to a third fight with Henderson.
Pettis, however, took a different path to UFC on Fox 6. The Wisconsin native actually beat Henderson for the lightweight title at WEC 53. The now famous "Showtime Kick" dropped Henderson in the fifth round, cementing Pettis' win and making him the last lightweight title holder in the WEC.
Upon entering the UFC in 2011, in his quest to challenge for the lightweight title, he lost his debut bout to Clay Guida. This set Pettis' title hopes back. However, since then, Pettis has put together a two-fight win streak, including an incredible knockout over UFC veteran Joe Lauzon at UFC 144.
For Cerrone, a victory on Saturday would allow him to remain at the top of the lightweight division and potentially avenge a loss at the hands of his old rival. With respect to Pettis, a win at UFC on Fox 6 would, more than likely, have him face Henderson and possibly take another title away from the man he beat more than two years ago.
Clinton Alexander Bullock has been a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner for many years. He has studied mixed martial arts for 12 years and has been published in the Philadelphia Sunday Sun Newspaper, Next Step Magazine, and Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter @clintonbullock.___________________
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