Two of the highest ranked flyweights in the world squared off against each other last night (Oct. 5, 2012) as John Dodson battled Jussier da Silva for the number one contender position at 125 pounds on the UFC on FX 5 main card in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Both men had speed and some serious skill, but in a bout that was highly anticipated, their talents didn't match-up well into an entertaining bout.
Only a violent finish from Dodson in the second round could slightly get the crowd back on his side.
So how exactly did Dodson earn the right to challenge for the title? And what happens next for both men? Our John Dodson vs. Jussier da Silva UFC on FX 5 post-fight review and analysis is posted below:
Early on, Dodson looked to lunge forward and land with power, either with his left or right hooks, but da Silva wanted none of it. Every time Dodson tried to get inside, da Silva's first move was backwards. He was not looking to side-step and counter and he was not looking to change levels for a takedown (at least in response to Dodson's attacks), thus not very much was going on.
When da Silva actually was aggressive, he telegraphed his takedowns, shooting in from a bit too far out and was easily stuffed during both attempts in the first round. On top of that, his spacing was poor, especially for a fighter that wanted to get inside and take this fight to the ground. He was way too far away from Dodson at all time. It was the perfect recipe for a brutal first round.
In the second round, da Silva remained at the same distance and was just as light on his feet, but Dodson finally found a hole to capitalize on. With da Silva backing straight up from his aggression, he simply had to lunge in a little bit deeper to score with his left hand. After finally scoring a couple times, he mixed it up, throwing a left hook to the body which opened up the head.
Dodson caught da Silva on the way in with his left hand which dropped him, but he wisely didn't go too crazy against the deft grappler with his ground and pound as "Formiga" still had his wits about him.
The next time, Dodson stepped inside deep with a left hook to the body and followed it up with another left hook which blasted the Brazilian in the face which sent him down. After a flurry of ground and pound, da Silva was done for.
For Jussier da Silva, his strategy was a bit baffling. Sure, his footwork was decent and he was light on his feet, but he just made some very poor decisions during the bout. For a fighter that wanted to take the bout to the ground, he was way too far away to actually counter Dodson's aggression with takedown attempts. Also, constantly moving backwards is about the worst thing a fighter can do if they want to take a fight to the canvas. He got stuck on his feet and paid dearly for it.
Potential opponents for "Formiga" include Phil Harris, Tim Elliott or perhaps Ulysses Gomez.
For John Dodson, his performance actually looks much better after further review. It was primarily da Silva's actions which caused the fight to be so dull, especially in the first round. Dodson, while patient, was lunging forward with attacks early, just not quite getting inside enough to score. Once he finally gauged the distance properly and started mixing up his hooks to the body, it was a piece of cake. His takedown defense looked solid and he's definitely still one of the heaviest hitters in the flyweight division. He'll give the champ a run for his money.
Next up for Dodson has already been decided. He'll be battling Demetrious Johnson for the UFC flyweight title sometime in the near future.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Was it both men's fault that this fight ended up being a tepid affair until the violent finish, or just da Silva's? How do you like Dodson's chances against Demetrious Johnson with the belt on the line?
For complete UFC on FX 5 results, including blow-by-blow, fight-by-fight coverage of the entire event as well as immediate post-fight reaction click here, here and here.