Monday, 28 January 2013

UFC Johnson vs Dodson on ESPN - TV Review

It’s time to step into the Octagon once again as we take a look at the UFC’s latest show on America’s Fox network, which was in the early hours of this past Sunday morning on ESPN here in Britain.

The broadcast began in the featherweight division as Erik Koch went up against Ricardo Lamas.

This one began with both testing the waters with a few kicks. A few moments later Lamas went for a takedown, and although he was successful Koch managed to get back up on one leg before they jockeyed for position against the cage.

Round two saw them engage in some crisp striking exchanges. But when Lamas slipped Koch failed to capitalize as he soon found himself on his back.

It was then that Lamas went to work, and after an elbow opened up Koch below his eye Lamas upped his striking rate until the referee stepped in to give Lamas the TKO win.

It was up to lightweight for the next fight as Anthony Pettis took on Donald Cerrone.

Pettis began his shift in the cage with a big right to the jaw, but when he went for a cartwheel kick a few moments later Cerrone countered with a knee to the body.

The action then settled down for a few seconds before Pettis began to take control with his striking. A kick to the body clearly troubled Cerrone. The Cowboy tried to make out it was no big deal, but when Pettis connected with a second kick Cerrone crumpled to the mat. Pettis went in for the kill with the referee stepping in to give him the TKO win.

Light heavyweight action followed as Rampage Jackson faced Glover Teixeira.

This proved to be a very intriguing three round affair. Right from the off Teixeira put on a great display of striking, a display that had Rampage in no end of trouble at times.

It was Teixeira’s left hand in particular that gave Rampage no end of trouble, and although he controlled the majority of the exchanges Rampage got in a few good shots as well. Hell also froze over when the former champion added a few kicks into the mix.

This fight wasn’t just about the striking though. Teixeira had a great deal of success on the ground with a number of takedowns throughout the fight, although Rampage managed to get back to his feet quite a few times as well.

But as the fight went on Rampage began to look exhausted, while Teixeira looked as fresh as a daisy throughout, and when the fight ended it seemed pretty obvious who was going to get the decision.

The judges saw it that way as well as Teixeira took the unanimous decision.

The main event saw John Dodson challenging Demetrious Johnson for the Flyweight title.

I really enjoyed this one. For five rounds these two put on a fight that would have been worthy of a pay per view main event, let alone free to air television.

Dodson put in some great work early on. His striking looked crisp as he gave Johnson quite a bit of trouble, especially in the first two rounds when he knocked the champion to the ground.

Johnson managed to weather that particular storm and came back time and time again, scoring with some nice takedowns along the way.

The champion was guilty of a couple of rules infractions later on, connecting with an inadvertent knee to the groin in the third and a knee to the head in the fourth while Dodson had a hand on the mat. The challenger was given a couple of rest periods, although ultimately it didn’t do him much good.

This was mainly because Johnson began to dominate the action from the fourth round onwards, connecting with a series of knees to the head from various clinches. Dodson just didn’t seem to have any form of defence against these, and these blows, added to his growing fatigue, meant that he was becoming a shell of the fighter who rocked the champion earlier on.

With the fight going the distance the judges were called upon again as they gave Johnson their unanimous title retaining decision.

In conclusion - if I had stayed up until the early hours to watch this I would probably have said that this was well worth staying up for.

The four fights shown here certainly delivered. The two TKO wins were worth the price of admission alone, while Glover Teixeira’s points win over Rampage Jackson kind of seemed like another passing of the baton, the changing of the guard if you will, as the new generation of light heavyweight fighters continues to make it’s mark.

As for the main event the UFC’s newest division did it again. Although we didn’t see that marquee finish Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson delivered the good, and Johnson’s performance once again showed why the flyweights are now a valuable part of the UFC, and this is the reason that these guys are going to get my vote for fight of the night.

So with all of that out of the way it’s time to wrap this thing up by giving UFC on Fox the thumbs up.