Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson defends his UFC Flyweight title in a rematch against top contender John "The Magician" Dodson. As we review the UFC odds let's lock down a winner in our UFC picks.
John Dodson (17-6, 8 KO's, 2 Subs)
Don't let appearances fool you. Though John Dodson is a mere 5'3" and 125 pounds the southpaw out of Albuquerque, New Mexico can hit like a mule and even floored the champion Demetrious Johnson twice in their previous match. Despite Dodson's background as a two-time high school state wrestling champ Dodson has relied on his sledgehammer fists to do the talking inside the Octagon.
Since beginning his professional MMA career back in 2004 Dodson has been the victim of a few controversial split decisions that went against him but remained unfazed as he caught the attention of the UFC when he was recruited to join TUF 14. Dodson eventually wound up hammering bantamweight TJ Dillashaw en route to a first-round TKO and was named The Ultimate Fighter 14 winner. Dodson has amassed a 6-1 record in the UFC and his only loss was by unanimous decision to the incomparable Demetrious Johnson. On September 5th Dodson will get his opportunity to avenge that loss and become the new UFC Flyweight king.
Demetrious Johnson (22-2, 4 KO's, 9 Subs)
Since the UFC created the flyweight division Demetrious Johnson has been untouchable. The native of Madisonville, Kentucky has a sublime blend of speed, power and agility. He can grapple with the best in the division or stand up and deliver when counted upon. Johnson has finished four of his last five opponents and his war with Dodson in January of 2013 was perhaps his sternest test to date.
Johnson's ability to step in and out of his opponent's range while firing low leg kicks and hooks to the body is something that needs to be seen rather than read. He is a force of nature inside the Octagon and his speed not only confuses his opponents but forces them to make mistakes. Johnson can go all day long so cardio is also a strong suit but perhaps the most overlooked portion of Johnson's repertoire is his defense. He is a disappearing target and has an uncanny knack of slipping punches and delivering a fusillade of counterpunches in return. Johnson is as comfortable grappling as he is striking. That is what makes him so difficult to defend against but if anyone can solve the riddle that is Mighty Mouse it is John Dodson.
Stylistically Demetrious Johnson presents a bad matchup for virtually everyone at 125 pounds but if anyone can make his title reign disappear it is The Magician. Dodson floored Johnson twice in their first bout and will look to be hell bent on doing the same this time around. Dodson throws tremendously heavy leather and if Johnson decides to eschew the ground game and fight Dodson toe-to-toe then it could prove to be a critical mistake.
However Johnson is an intelligent and cunning fighter. He understands full well the power behind Dodson's punches and will be on guard to avoid getting decked this time around. This should be an entertaining fight but if Dodson fails to capture his prey in the opening two rounds then this will most likely go the distance with Johnson prevailing yet again.
As of this moment Pinnacle is offering UFC odds on Demetrious Johnson at -412 with a return of +355 on Dodson. I suspect those odds will remain pretty much locked in the -400 to -500 range without much deviation. I believe Dodson is worth a value bet at north of +350 but just remember the old adage - there is no value in losing.