There is a word that exemplifies speed, athleticism, and dynamic, continuous action: Flyweight. In the UFC 191, the undisputed king of the 125 pound Flyweight division is Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson since he won the four-man tournament to establish the first Champion of that division in June 2012.
Johnson is renowned for his technical striking, seamless transitions into takedowns, and seemingly endless gas tank. Coming into this fight he’s riding a 9 fight winning streak that has cemented him as one of the most dominant champions reigning in the UFC today.
His opponent will be John “The Magician” Dodson, a powerful striker and one of the few Flyweight fighters out there known for one-punch knockout power. The southpaw and Ultimate Fighter season 14 winner has won 4 of his 7 UFC contests by KO or TKO from his powerful striking. He also bears a state-champion pedigree in wrestling in his home state of New Mexico.
He will be meeting Dodson this Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for the second time. In their first bout, Dodson was able to land several accurate and powerful blows that wobbled the champion but was never able to put him away. Johnson was able over the course of all five rounds to out-pace Dodson and received the nod from the judges.
This time, Dodson says that “I’m going in for the kill. I’m making sure I’m murdering him in the cage and bringing death to his title reign.”
I’ll admit that I’ve been a Demetrious Johnson fan for many years. I had the privilege of watching Mighty Mouse’s last fight as an amateur at the AX Fighting Championship and even then you could tell that he was something special.
That said, I think that their second match-up will go down much like the first. Dodson doesn’t have an answer for Johnson’s punishing pace and technical proficiency. Unless he can land a clean, powerful punch early (or perhaps even take the fight to the ground himself) Dodson is likely in for a long night.
In a compelling match-up, Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski will be facing off against Frank Mir in what has become a trend in the UFC as of late: comebacks from fighters late in their career.
“I still have that fire in my eyes.” Arlovski, speaking of his upcoming bout.
Arlovski has won all three of his latest fights in the UFC after returning from a stint in the World Series of Fighting and the now-defunct Strikeforce, bringing him to the rank of number four in the heavyweight division. His last fight in the UFC before that was in 2008.
His renowned striking skills seemed to have only improved over time, settling down to become more measured, patient and technical. He still seems to possess his knockout power, winning his last two bouts by KO in the first round.
Frank Mir is in a very similar situation, having won his last two outings, also by knockout, pushing him to rank 10.
Mir was well-respected as a grappler, winning 57% of his matches by submission but has been working hard on his boxing game as of late and the work has shown in his performances.
The outcome of this fight is anybody’s guess, but I am willing to bet that it won’t get out of the first round, as both fighters are hungry and need this win to continue their momentum and cement their claim on title contention. Don’t miss this one!
Number 1 light heavyweight title contender Anthony “Rumble” Johnson will be squaring off against the 7th ranked contender, Jimi “Poster Boy” Manuwa in an exciting match to determine who will get the next title shot against current interim chamption, Daniel Cormier.
In a division recently rocked by scandal with the former champion Jon Jones famously being arrested for a hit-and-run this fight will hopefully re-establish the excitement of what was the UFC’s flagship division.
Both Johnson and Manuwa are powerful and accurate strikers in their own right. Manuwa has won all but one of his five outings in the UFC by KO, and Johnson has won the majority of his bouts in the same devastating fashion.
On the feet, this match could be very close. However, Johnson has several victories by submission, and I believe his underrated ground skills will be the key to his victory here. Watch for fireworks in this one as either fighter has the ability to end it with just one strike!
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