UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will make the first defence of his new title against TUF 14 winner John “The Magician” Dodson in the main event of UFC on FOX 6 on January 26th in Chicago, Illinois. UFC officials announced the matchup on Tuesday evening.
Also confirmed for the card is a lightweight contender’s bout between former WEC champ Anthony “Showtime” Pettis and long-time contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. A light heavyweight battle between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Glover Teixeira may also take place at UFC on FOX 6.
Johnson (16-2-1) opted to make the move down to 125 pounds following a five-round decision defeat against UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz in October 2011 and he remains unbeaten since then. Johnson entered the inaugural UFC flyweight tournament in March and faced off against Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall, but a scoring error resulted in the bout being ruled a Majority Draw. Johnson was impressive in the pair’s rematch in June and walked away with a well-earned Unanimous Decision win to advance to the tournament final at UFC 152. There, he outlasted former WEC title challenger Joseph Benavidez to take a Split Decision victory and the UFC 125-pound championship.
Dodson (14-5-0) is one of the few fighters in the flyweight division who may be able to match Johnson’s speed. The Jackson’s MMA standout is currently riding a five-fight winning streak that includes TKO stoppages of T.J. Dillashaw and, most recently, former number one-ranked flyweight Jussier “Formiga” da Silva. Dodson’s striking accuracy and power have allowed him to overwhelm recent opponents, but he must contend with the lightning-fast striking and takedowns that are key components in Johnson’s arsenal. Eight of Dodson’s wins have come inside the distance and he has never been finished. A victory over Johnson would earn the 28-year-old Dodson the coveted UFC title.
Pettis (15-2-0) and Cerrone (19-4-0, 1 NC) both vied for the WEC Lightweight Championship during their tenures with the promotion, but only Pettis was able to capture the title. He did so by defeating champ “Smooth” Benson Henderson on the final WEC card and has since won two of his three fights inside the Octagon. The talented and innovative striker is regarded as one of MMA’s top prospects today. Cerrone came up short in his WEC title bids against Jamie Varner and Henderson twice, but he currently sports a 6-1 UFC record and may be one win away from another championship fight. Cerrone has secured finishes in 15 of his 19 wins and has scored knockouts in two of his past five fights.
Also targeted for the UFC on FOX 6 card is a 205-pound bout between Jackson (32-10-0) and Teixeira (19-2-0). The fighters were initially scheduled to face each other at UFC 153, but Jackson was forced to withdraw due to an elbow injury. The rescheduled bout is under a verbal agreement, but has not yet been signed. Jackson is 4-3 since losing the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship and is coming off of back-to-back losses to current champ Jon “Bones” Jones and contender Ryan “Darth” Bader. Teixeira has won 17 straight fights and most recently destroyed Fabio Maldonado on the UFC 153 card. A victory for Teixeira could potentially propel him into a title fight.
UFC on FOX 6 takes place on January 26, 2013 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
(Photo Credit: Sherdog.com)