Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight scrappers John Dodson and Eddie Wineland threw down last night (April 22, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 108 inside Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Both men had plenty to prove heading into this match up. Dodson had split a pair of fights in his previous two Bantamweight contests, but it still wasn’t entirely clear where “The Magician” stood relative to the 135-pound ranks. Meanwhile, Wineland has been fighting at Bantamweight for more than one decade, and he’s seen his fair share of ups-and-downs. Wineland was largely written off after a bad injury and pair of losses, but he’s bounced back with a couple solid wins. Still, this was a step up, one that could push him back into the title picture.
It’s easy to say that Dodson is an exceptionally fast fighter, but Wineland found out the hard way just how quick he is. The speed discrepancy became apparent immediately, which is pretty crazy when you remember just how fast and athletic Wineland is in comparison to many of his Bantamweight peers.
Wineland tried to stalk and corner Dodson, but even with his reach advantage he had trouble landing in the first round. Dodson didn’t land all that much in return, but he made his opponent miss incredibly often and was able to burst inside and land nearly at will.
It was clear-cut.
The second round continued in similar fashion. Wineland did his best to find openings and land, but missing so frequently seemed to hurt his confidence and rhythm. At this point in the fight, Wineland was simply looking for single right hand shots. Since the knockout blow did not land, that left Wineland the only other option of being out-pointed. Dodson stepped up his volume just a bit in the second round, digging with more kicks and popping in with slick combinations.
Wineland was never hurt, but he was pretty clearly getting picked apart with just five minutes remaining.
The former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) champion attempted to push the pace and chase the finish in the third round. He did manage to land one particularly clean right hand, but it didn’t do anything to throw Dodson off his game. Meanwhile, the two-time Flyweight title challenger counter well with his left hand, and he later stunned his foe by tripling up on the cross.
Despite the boo birds, it was a dominant victory for “The Magician.”
This was a really strong performance from Dodson. It may not have been as exciting as he wanted, but Dodson really lived up to his moniker with this win. He was there and punching, then suddenly, he was not. Dodson was very nearly in the matrix, as Wineland scored less than a dozen punches across 15 minutes.
With this win, Dodson has really carved out a position for himself at 135 pounds. If he can make a quick and experienced striker like Wineland look so lost, he’s definitely a contender. Next up for Dodson should be a rising contender, someone along the lines of Aljamain Sterling would be a fantastic challenge for both men.
As for Wineland, he never managed to get anything going. He’s never really been a pressure fighter, as Wineland excels at drawing fighters into his counter right hand. That’s generally a great strategy for him, but it’s ridiculously tough to pull off against a fighter with such a speed advantage.
It also doesn’t help that Dodson is historically extremely durable.
It’s hard to say what Wineland could have done differently to find a better result, as he didn’t manage to find any success. Had he really thrown caution to the wind and fired with reckless abandon, it’s more likely that Dodson’s left find his chin than the opposite.
Last night, Dodson was just the better man.
At UFC Fight Night 108, John Dodson picked apart his opponent en route to a clear-cut decision win. What is next for John Dodson?
For complete UFC Fight Night 108: “Swanson vs. Lobov” results and play-by-play, click HERE!