- UFC on Fox 6
Mighty Mouse flies high after Jackson's final Rampage
Demetrious Johnson remains the UFC flyweight champion, but only after he fought through serious adversity against John Dodson, who dropped his man three times en route to a unanimous decision defeat.
In a fight billed as the fastest bout in UFC history, Johnson and Dodson lived up to expectations as they tore around the Octagon for 25 minutes. The champion was rocked badly early in the contest, but his Muay Thai clinch proved decisive as he bloodied Dodson late in the fight for a unanimous 48-47 49-46 48-47 decision.
Johnson's 'A' game is always to get in and out without receiving a counter, but he met a man in Dodson who matched him for speed. Round one saw the champ dropped by a left hand, and more followed. Two hefty left hooks planted Mighty Mouse on the canvas again in the second, with Dodson looking poised and powerful.
However, few are better than Johnson at finding ways to win, and his constant pressure was sapping the resources of Dodson, who began to give away takedowns. The "strikes landed" column also fell in Johnson's favour as he grew into the championship rounds.
An illegal knee early in the fourth caused controversy, with the champ not deducted a point, but it was Dodson's inability to defend the technique that proved pivotal. For much of the last two rounds Johnson employed the Thai plumb to hammer home relentless knees to head, body and legs, and he was a deserving winner by the final klaxon.
Former light-heavyweight champion Rampage Jackson bade farewell to the UFC in typically entertaining style in the co-main event, putting on a three-round slugfest with Glover Teixeira that the Brazilian eventually won via a 30-27 30-27 29-28 decision.
Jackson, the first man to unify Pride and UFC titles, said pre-fight that he will walk away from UFC, and if he sticks to his word he will leave after a barnburner. Teixeira employed his takedown offence to score points at crucial times, but for the majority of the fight he played Rampage's game, swinging for the fences to the delight of the Chicago crowd.
Round one was Teixeira's most emphatic, dropping Jackson with a left hand and threatening to finish the fight. Takedowns were scored in each round but Rampage showed great heart to get back to his feet, and both men smiled at one another as hooks kept landing. Jackson's best moment saw a flurry of uppercuts pound the chin of his rival, but his gas tank failed him as Teixeira rode out the decision - albeit doing little to prove himself a genuine contender to Jon Jones.
In the lightweight division, Anthony Pettis confirmed his status as the unofficial - yet true - No. 1 contender to champion Benson Henderson, outclassing Donald Cerrone for a first round TKO victory. Strikeforce king Gilbert Melendez is the next to challenge for Henderson's title, but Pettis' opportunity is inevitable.
Pettis, who is the last man to beat the champion, completely lived up to his Showtime nickname against Cerrone, pulling out all his tricks - the like of which nobody else in the UFC possesses. The Showtime Kick became the Showtime Knee, bouncing off the cage to land a knee to the face of a stunned Cerrone, and the Cowboy looked totally overwhelmed.
Prior to that blow, Pettis landed with the first two right hands he threw, and when he turned to his kicking game it was over rapidly. A sickening kick to the liver crumpled Cerrone at 2.35 of round one, after which Pettis asked the question everybody wants answered.
"Dana White, what do I have to do for that title shot?" he roared. "What have I got to do?"
In the opening fight of the main card, Ricardo Lamas opened up one of the nastiest cuts in recent UFC history en route to a second-round TKO stoppage of Erik Koch. Koch had twice been scheduled to fight featherweight champion Jose Aldo in 2012, only for both bouts to be cancelled due to injury, but now he will find himself way down the ladder.
After a forgettable first round, a slip by Lamas inadvertently opened a window for him to employ his vast ground skills to attain a dominant top position. From there, he rained down elbows, leaving Koch a bloody mess as the fight was stopped at 2.32 of round two.
UFC on Fox 6 results:
Demetrious Johnson bt John Dodson via unanimous decision (48-47 49-46 48-47)
Glover Teixeira bt Quinton Jackson via unanimous decision (30-27 30-27 29-28)
Anthony Pettis bt Donald Cerrone via TKO at 2.35 of round 1
Ricardo Lamas bt Erik Koch via TKO at 2.32 of round 2
TJ Grant bt Matt Wiman via KO at 4.51 of round 1
Clay Guida bt Hatsu Hioki via split decision (28-29 30-27 29-28)
Pascal Krauss bt Mike Stumpf via unanimous decision (30-27 30-27 30-27)
Ryan Bader bt Vladimir Matyushenko via guillotine choke at 0.51 of round 1
Shawn Jordan bt Mike Russow via TKO at 3.48 of round 2
Rafael Nadal bt Sean Spencer via arm triangle choke at 2.13 of round 3
David Mitchell bt Simeon Thoresen via unanimous decision (30-27 30-27 30-27)