To watch Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson full fight video highlights from UFC 191 last night click here.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight stars Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson went to war once more last night (Sept. 5, 2015) at UFC 191 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Johnson has improved greatly in the last couple years, and that was after he won the title! Last night, Johnson was looking to demonstrate just how good he's become by definitively taking out "The Magician."
On the other hand, Dodson was in a must-win situation. This was his opportunity to put a heavy left hand through Johnson's jaw, and that's precisely what he intended to do.
As expected, both men entered this bout with an abundance of speed and movement. Johnson quickly took the center of the Octagon and pressured his opponent, while Dodson looked to counter and occasionally burst forward.
Across the entire round, Johnson controlled the pace and distance. He landed a number of hard kicks, and his usual right hand to right hook combination landed nicely a number of times.
Meanwhile, Dodson threw little and landed even less.
For the most part, the second round was more of the same. Johnson continued to chase his opponent around the Octagon, landing the better shots and throwing at a higher volume.
The main difference in the second round was that Dodson attempted to wrestle a number of times. Though he scored a couple takedowns -- and defended each of his opponent's shots -- he never controlled top position for more than a few seconds.
After two rounds, Dodson was very likely behind on the scorecards.
It took "Mighty Mouse" a solid four minutes of continued effort, but Johnson scored his first takedown of the fight. He wasn't able to do much with it, but his high pace was clearly taking its toll on the challenger. After a full three rounds in the cage, Johnson was merely getting into his grove while Dodson was fading away.
Johnson stuck to the game plan perfectly throughout the fourth as well. He continued to pressure Dodson, mixing together punches, kicks, and takedowns. All in all, Johnson did everything he wanted to, while Dodson was largely overwhelmed and continued to throw at a very low volume.
While the fifth and final round may have been Johnson's most takedown-heavy round, it was still basically a replay of the last two rounds. Johnson pressured his opponent and landed a huge number of shots, while slipping the vast majority of Dodson's single punch counters.
By the end of the fight, it was abundantly clear who the belt belonged to.
At this point, this is simply the most recent in a long string of massively impressive performances for Demetrious Johnson. As is becoming frighteningly usual, Johnson continues to develop and add new tricks to his arsenal, despite being one of the best fighters in the world.
In this bout, many of Johnson's classic techniques were on display. He frequented fired off a right straight, shifted into Southpaw, and continued throwing hooks from his lead hand. The combination alone landed at least ten times, and Johnson was stepping into his punches hard, causing Dodson's face to swell up.
Additionally, Johnson came in with a masterful game plan. Knowing how difficult Dodson was to hold down, Johnson worked extensively on striking while attempting takedowns and on the break. He repeatedly forced Dodson into the fence with a single leg, kept Dodson pinned to the fence, and then wailed on him with his free hand. He also landed some nice elbows, including a spinning one.
This was a brilliant strategy. It allowed Johnson to simultaneously do damage, exhaust his opponent, and remain close enough to snuff out any power punches. Frankly, it couldn't have worked better.
After this win, Johnson's next opponent is unclear. At this point, his potential opponents include Joseph Benavidez (assuming he beats Ali Bagautinov), the winner of Henry Cejudo vs Jussier Formiga, and the wild card is certainly TJ Dillashaw at bantamweight.
The only good thing about Dodson's performance is his physical toughness. Dodson took plenty of shots but kept his composure and did his best to stay in the fight.
However, I was far from impressed with Dodson's game plan on the whole. His first title fight with Johnson proved that he didn't have the gas tank to fight competitively for five rounds, yet he still attempted to compete at a measured pace, all but ensuring his own defeat.
There's absolutely no reason that Dodson shouldn't have let it all hang out in the first. Johnson clearly cannot take him down while he's fresh, so he only had punches to fear. Johnson ate a million of them and could take it, so he really had nothing to fear from Johnson while he was fresh.
Bite down of that mouth piece and swing.
That sounds pretty risky at first glance. But really, what's the worst that could happen? Is gassing out after firing on all cylinders and getting submitted in the third any better than coasting to a decision loss? A loss is a loss, and the rest is ultimately meaningless detail.
By trying to remain patient and stay measured, Dodson was doomed himself to a slow, painful loss with a very slim chance of success. Unfortunately, he's not likely to ever get the chance to correct that.
Last night, Demetrious Johnson picked apart and out-wrestled John Dodson for five straight rounds. Just how long can "Mighty Mouse" successfully defend his strap?
For complete UFC 191: "Johnson vs Dodson" results and play-by-play click HERE!