“Mighty Mouse” climbs off the canvas to win a feisty flyweight scrap.
UFC 125lb king Demetrious Johnson (17-2-1) showed all the hallmarks of a champion as he survived some scary mid-fight moments before retaining his title.
The flyweight clash was the headline bout of UFC on FOX 6 at the United Center, Chicago.
As expected, both men sprinted out of the blocks in a fast and frenetic opening round. The champion was the aggressor, challenger John Dodson happy to throw punches in retreat.
Beforehand, talk had centred on whether Dodson’s knockout power would prevail in a division where speed is the most common currency.
Indeed, in a sizzling second round it looked like the challenger’s short detonations might win him the gold.
Dodson countered Johnson’s punches with a rapid-fire combination that dropped the champion. Seconds later he repeated the feat. A counter left hook caught Johnson square on the jaw and left him momentarily tasting canvas. He recovered, but the warning was clear: Dodson’s fists were going to be a factor throughout.
After another close third, where both men enjoyed periodic success, Johnson began to assert control. This was Dodson’s first foray into the championship rounds and it wasn’t a pleasant one.
The key moment came when Johnson trapped Dodson against the cage and unleashed a succession of nasty knees that drew blood. Dodson was fatally wounded and even the wise words of famed coach Greg Jackson during the interval couldn’t revive him.
The challenger did well to survive a battering in the fifth as Johnson traded almost exclusively in knees from the clinch. The statistics told their own story, backed up by the bruising on Dodson’s face, as Johnson outlanded him by 117 strikes to 28.
“It was a great fight, and I’m very happy the fans liked it,” exclaimed Johnson after earning a unanimous nod from the judges. “He hit me pretty good a couple of times. I was stunned, but I am in great shape and my head cleared very quick.”
Dodson drops to 14-6 and will now have to regroup ahead of another tilt at the title.
Johnson, meanwhile, is now unbeaten in four. Judging by this display, his reign will take some stopping.
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John Dodson III Vs. Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson
Fight was scheduled for 5 rounds (5x5x5x5x5)
||John Dodson III
||5′ 3″ (160.02 cm)
||125 (56.7 kg)
defeated John Dodson by Unanimous Decision (48-47, 49-46, 48-47)
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