Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
Speed is a huge factor in any mixed martial arts (MMA) contest. That shines especially true for UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, who earns most of his victories by being quicker than his opponents. Johnson's next opponent at UFC on FOX 6, John Dodson, could match the champion's speed, which could pose problems. Johnson's not worried about that, though, as he says "it's not all about the speed."
When the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweights enter the cage for any fight, the first thing that comes to a viewers mind is the speed and pace the competitors in the organization's lightest weight class fight are able to fight with.
All the 125-pounders on the UFC roster are quick, but none more so than the division's kingpin - Demetrious Johnson.
Johnson is arguably the fastest fighter the UFC has under contract, an aspect of his game that hugely benefits him every time he steps into the Octagon. No fighter at 125-pounds has been able to hang with Johnson's speed and endurance, but that could all when "Mighty Mouse" steps in the cage later this month against John Dodson in the main event of UFC on FOX 6 on Jan. 26, 2013, in Chicago, Ill.
The two quirky flyweights will do battle with the belt on the line in a fight that may need to be replayed in slow motion. Many believe Dodson's best chance of dethroning Johnson is to match the champion's speed. However, Johnson says the fight is not all about speed; it's also about the other skills needed to become a successful mixed martial artist.
"He can have the speed to contend with me, but it's not all about the speed, that's not how I win all my fights," Johnson said in a UFC on FOX 6 pre-fight interview with the UFC. "It's not because I'm super fast. I like to think that I'm good fundamentally and I have a good skillset so, he can match me speed-for-speed, but will he be able to match my pressure? My cardio? There's more aspects than just speed."
After becoming the first flyweight champion in UFC history by defeating Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152 last September, Johnson has high hopes for his first title defense and expects a crowd-pleasing match up. He sees Dodson as an opponent who likes to spend most of his time in the stand-up department, but warns "The Magician" that he will be ready to take the fight anywhere.
"I think overall it's going to be a very exciting fight," Johnson said. "But if I had to choose an aspect of it, I think the stand up because he typically doesn't like to go to the ground and, you know, I like to stand up, I like to fight on the ground, I like to fight in the clinch, I can fight anywhere. You know, two guys going out there and fighting should be exciting in itself.
Whichever way the fight plays out, Johnson is just excited to be featured on such a big stage and expects an outstanding battle later this month.
"It's going to be a great fight."
UFC on FOX 6: "Johnson vs. Dodson" goes down form the United Center in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 26, 2013. Along with the flyweight championship headliner, Quinton Jackson meets Glover Teixeira in a light heavyweight contest while Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone are set to clash in a lightweight grudge match.