Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is returning to network television tomorrow night (Jan. 26, 2013) with UFC on FOX 6: "Johnson vs. Dodson," which emanates live from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the main card action on fight night (Sat., Jan. 26, 2012), which is slated to air at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. The latest quick updates of the live action will begin to flow earlier than that around 4 p.m. ET with the "Prelims" bouts on Facebook and FX Channel.
The big story coming into this weekend's mixed martial arts (MMA) extravaganza is the farewell fight for former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson. "Rampage" promises to bolt from the promotion he's called home since 2007 in an effort to find employment elsewhere.
His options may be limited, especially if Glover Teixeira punches a few extra holes in his resume.
In the main event of the evening, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson will try to hold on to his 125-pound strap by quelling the explosive offense of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 winner John Dodson. Ordinarily I'd have them in the running for "Fight of the Night."
Here's who wins -- and why.
Nostradumbass predicts: This is one of the harder fights to predict because Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson are so evenly matched. Champion and challenger both bring good ground work, excellent stand up and neverending cardio.
So how to discern between the two?
Welp, it's like this. Dodson has something you don't see that often in the lighter weight classes and that's knockout power. He was a flyweight putting dudes down at 135 pounds and it's definitely something "Mighty Mouse" needs to prepare for if he comes to save the day.
But that power may also be a liability.
While "The Magician" is good at making people's consciousness disappear, there's a strong chance that he gets outboxed because he's too busy looking to land the show stopper. Johnson really showed me something in his win over Joseph Benavidez, who I thought was a shoe-in for the division title.
Speaking of ...
In addition to Joe B. Wan Kenobi, the champ has also beaten Ian McCall and as a bantamweight, he went five rounds with Dominick Cruz after beating the likes of Miguel Torres and Norifumi Yamamoto. So not only has he fought the best in the world at 125 pounds, he's also fought the top of the food chain at 135 pounds, as well.
Doddy? Not so much.
His biggest win to date was over Jussier da Silva in the Brazilian's Octagon debut. Yes, the same "Formiga" that has zero of his 14 wins coming by way of knockout or technical knockout. Johnny is one tough customer and I expect this to be a close fight, but everywhere "The Magician" is good, "Mighty Mouse" is just a little bit better.
Final prediction: Johnson def. Dodson via unanimous decision
Nostradumbass predicts: Quinton Jackson, most of the time, is a lazy jerk. I don't care for him much as a person, so you can imagine how difficult it is for me to pick him over a nice guy like Glover Teixeira. However, my job isn't to predict the most congenial fighter, it's to predict the combatant most likely to win on fight night.
For that, I'm sticking with "Rampage."
I understand that I'm supposed to be making a big deal out of Teixeira's rise to stardom and his impeccable resume, but beating up a bunch of UFC rejects on the regional circuit does not impress me. To date, his Octagon wins consist of a submission victory over Kyle Kingsbury and a technical knockout stoppage over a flabby Fabio Maldonado.
Both of those guys are on three fight losing streaks and couldn't hit the division's top ten with a Cheytac .408 cal sniper rifle.
Jackson, on the other hand, has fought and defeated some of the best in the world, including Dan Henderson, Wanderlei Silva and Lyoto Machida. He also has big game experience against Mauricio Rua, Rashad Evans and Jon Jones in losing efforts.
The bottom line? 'Page has fought the creme de la creme for most of his career.
It certainly didn't look that way against Ryan Bader in his last fight, but Jackson was a mess heading into Japan. He had two bum knees, was hopped up on TRT and couldn't make weight. "Darth" took advantage of those afflictions and wrestled the shit out of him for three rounds.
So what's changed?
This is the Memphis-native's last fight inside the Octagon and he knows that his marketability takes a nosedive in defeat. Does he want to be seen as a free agent powerhouse, or a UFC washout? I believe it's the former and a motivated Jackson with something to prove comes in and shows he still packs a wallop.
Final prediction: Jackson def. Teixeira via knockout
Nostradumbass predicts: Here's a tough fight to pick. Donald Cerrone is 6-1 in the lightweight division with four finishes and is outstanding in every department. "Cowboy" is a former kickboxer and has some nasty leg chops that could have won him the Nate Diaz fight if he didn't lose his cool.
That's his Kryptonite.
Cerrone is one of those gung ho macho adrenaline types that likes to kick ass and ride jet skis and basically live life like he's in a rap video surrounded by babes in bikinis. I'm jealous! But with that, comes the absence of deep mental focus -- which is different than being mentally broken -- and I believe it costs him here again.
It was hard to pick "Showtime."
I think he's the more dynamic striker and has more ways to win on the feet, but he's coming off surgery and an extended layoff that may sabotage his timing inside the cage. When you have a bout that's so evenly matched and so close in skill sets, the slightest advantage can cost you the fight.
The focus of Cerrone or the timing of Pettis?
I'm going with the former, partly because it's my desire to see Pettis rematch Ben Henderson for the 155-pound title just as soon as "Bendo" is done embarrassing Gilbert Melendez on FOX. Hardly a scientific formula for picking fights, but hey, this is what you get when you put rum in your oatmeal.
Final prediction: Anthony Pettis def. Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision
Nostradumbass predicts: Erik Koch? More like Erik Shasta. The guy is orange. And here's the punchline: He's sponsored by a tanning salon! How is that bringing in customers? Come tan with us and we'll have you looking like Gossamer in just three sessions!
I think it may be having the reverse effect.
It's almost like those anti-tobacco commercials where they wheel out that old bag with a balloon knot in his trachea and a Speak & Spell hardwired to his voice box, to which he robotically warns the nation's youngsters: I. USED. TO. SMOKE. LOOK. AT. ME. NOW. TOP. OF. THE. WORLD. MA. COUGH. COUGH.
Koch could be the first fighter in history to be medically suspended for competing prior to the actual event. Suspended 60 days (30 days no contact) for melanoma. Erik, please stop tanning before someone mistakes you for a gym bag.
Okay, now that I've wasted three paragraphs on skin jokes, I guess I should try to predict this fight.
Ordinarily, I'd pick Koch. He's the more dynamic striker and he's got the power to finish Lamas early in the fight. What I don't like going into tomorrow night's curtain jerker is the 16-month layoff and multiple injuries. His UFC run has been impressive, but his biggest win to date is a unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Brookins back in Sept. 2011.
Not exactly the stuff of legends.
Still, Lamas has to try and figure out how to get this fight to the floor if he wants to avoid getting planted. The former All-American wrestler out of Elmhurst College definitely has the chops to do it, as well as the cardio, he just needs to avoid getting befuddled by "New Breed's" unorthodox style of striking while waiting for his rusty opponent to tire.
Final prediction: Ricardo Lamas def. Orange Julius via split decision
That's a wrap, folks.
For previews and predictions on the preliminary card fights click here and here. To see all the odds and betting lines for UFC on FOX 6 click here and remember to come check us out after the show for all the latest results, recaps and coverage of "Johnson vs. Dodson."
What do you think? Now it's your turn ... let us have it in the comments section and share your thoughts and picks for tomorrow night's event.