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UFC 191: Johnson vs Dodson
By: Staff Writer

UFC 191: Johnson vs Dodson

Saturday, September 5th – 10:00 p.m. ET
Las Vegas, Nevada
Demetrious Johnson (21-2-1) vs. John Dodson (17-6-0)

Flyweight Championship Belt
Line: Johnson -550, Dodson +400

Demetrious Johnson looks to defend his Flyweight Title Belt for the second time against John Dodson, and seventh time overall, when they meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Johnson is the only fighter to hold the flyweight belt, going through the flyweight tournament back in 2012 without any trouble. Since that time he has been able to defend his title six times and will be coming full circle against the fighter he first defended it against, John Dodson. When they first met in early 2013, it was Dodson who looked to have the early edge, but as the fight went on, Johnson was able to storm back and eventually come away with a unanimous decision. Since facing Dodson, Johnson has another decision, one knockout and three submissions in the defense of his belt. His last fight against Kyoji Horiguchi was a nail biter as it went into the fifth round and with one second left saw Johnson land a successful armbar and win via submission, earning him “Performance of the Night” honors. Dodson has also been able to do well since the first installment of this matchup, winning each of his last three bouts and is 5-1 overall since joining the UFC. After losing to Johnson, he went on to take “Knockout of the Night” honors against Darrell Montague after just 4:13 in the ring and then followed that with a TKO (Doctor Stoppage) and a unanimous decision. The 5’3”, 125-pound fighter is a black belt in gaidojutsu and has used his training to not only help offensively, but also stay on the mat as he has yet to get knocked out over his six career losses. Both of these fighters have champion-caliber talent and it should be another fun match to watch at UFC 191.

It is no surprise that Johnson has been so successful at this level as he is able to get in 3.46 significant strikes per minute at an accuracy of 53%. Since the last time that he saw Dodson, Johnson has outstruck his opponents 300-109 and was just as dominant overall (127-57) against this fighter the first time. Johnson’s defense has been solid, allowing others to land just 1.76 significant strikes per minute of their own and they are doing so at a poor 34% accuracy. During his title defense run, Dodson has given the champion the most trouble as he got in 57 strikes and one takedown. Johnson is also always putting others on the mat and has done so 3.74 times per 15 minutes in the octagon while coming off a performance against Horiguchi in which he had a total of 14 takedowns and eventually finished with an armbar during one of them. He is relentless in this area, having an accuracy of just 55% when looking to take others down, but is able to stay on his own two feet with success as opponents are getting him down 35% of the time and have done so in a total of five instances over the last six bouts. Submissions are also a part of his game as he has won with this method in three of his last five times out, but averages just 0.4 submission attempts per 15 minutes of fighting. It is tough to see Johnson losing with his versatile fighting style so this one will be a great one to watch.

It is surprising that Dodson has been able to have so much success in MMA as he is laying down a solid amount of significant strikes per minute (3.26), but is actually taking more (3.37) strikes from his opponents. He has landed those strikes at a mere 35% and again, his opposition is doing better in this category with a success rate of 39%. He has been better lately, outstriking his last three opponents 86-55, but did horrible (127-57) when he saw Johnson in 2013. One area that he has done well in is takedowns as he is earning 1.12 takedowns per 15 minutes in the octagon and has put others on the mat in 40% of his attempts. On the other hand, Dodson has been able to stay upright with a takedown defense of 88%. In all, 13 of his 23 fights have ended in a decision with seven of those going his way while he has most often won via knockout (8). It is tough to imagine the result being any different this time around against Johnson unless Dodson can get in a lucky strike or two.