Demetrious Johnson is Mighty, but Don’t Forget About Dodson

By Adam Martin

There’s no doubt that UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is one of the most dominant fighters in MMA. “Mighty Mouse” is undefeated as a flyweight fighter through nine bouts, going 8-0-1 since moving to 125 lbs in 2012. His list of victims includes the likes of Joseph Benavidez (twice), Ian McCall, Chris Cariaso, John Moraga, Ali Bagautinov, Kyoji Horiguchi, and John Dodson. With finishes in three of his last four fights, including scoring the latest-ever stoppage in UFC history against Horiguchi in his last outing at UFC 186, some now consider Johnson the top pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world. Some even think he’s unbeatable at this weight class.

But one of the fighters who he has already defeated wants to prove everyone wrong by taking the belt from Johnson and becoming the champ himself.

That would be Dodson, who this weekend at UFC 187 returns from an 11-month layoff to take on Zach Makovsky in a featured preliminary bout. Dodson has been out of action since a TKO win over Moraga last June after tearing his ACL and having surgery to repair it. The surgery was a success, and now that Dodson is fully healthy, he’s ready to return to action and pick up right where he left off as one of the best 125-pounders in the division.

After defeating Moraga, Dodson was named the #1 contender, and many were looking forward to his rematch with Johnson. The pair first met in January 2013 at UFC on FOX 6. Johnson won a decision that night, but Dodson was one of the few fighters to actually have success against the champ, dropping Johnson twice during the fight before fading and losing the championship rounds to “Mighty Mouse.” Still, it was a great fight, and fans have been anxious to see the rematch ever since, particularly after Johnson’s laid to waste everyone he’s fought since then.

Due to Dodson’s injury, Johnson has been forced to fight sub-par opposition for his title. First it was Cariaso at UFC 178, who Johnson submitted in round two with a kimura, and then it was Horiguchi, who Johnson tapped with a fifth-round armbar in his last appearance. Both those fighters are good, but not on the level of Johnson, and everyone knew it, as Johnson was a -1000 betting favorite in both those contests, each of which he won easily. Remember, though, if Dodson wasn’t hurt, it would have been he who was fighting for the belt, not an overmatched Horiguchi and Cariaso.

With a win over Makovsky this weekend, though, Dodson will get his chance at revenge. The flyweight division is just as thin as ever, and thus Dodson is the de facto #1 contender yet again, which would set up the rematch with Johnson later this year. Unlike Johnson’s previous opponents, who were completely overwhelmed by Johnson’s speed, pace, and takedowns, Dodson can hold his own against the champ, as he proved the first time they met. If Johnson is the fastest flyweight, then Dodson is the second fastest, and he has more power and explosion than the champ. He also has excellent wrestling in his own right, particularly as far as his takedown defence goes. Basically, Dodson is the next-best guy at 125 outside of the champ, and just like he did the first time, he will give Johnson a great fight when they meet again.

Now, all Dodson needs to do is go out there and beat Makovsky. He doesn’t even necessarily need a finish, he just needs a win, and if he can get the job done, then fans can get ready for the rematch we’ve all been waiting for at 125 lbs. And when that’s all said and done, don’t be shocked if it’s Dodson who stands atop the flyweight division wearing the crown of gold, because he’s that good. And right now Dodson is the only guy in the world capable of beating the current mighty champ at 125 pounds.

UFC 187

John Dodson vs. Zach Makovsky

Click the stars to rate your anticipation for this fight.


UFC 187: Johnson vs. Cormier (formerly UFC 187: Jones vs. Johnson) takes place on May 23, 2015 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC 187 will be.

What Do You Think of This Fight/Event?