In what is now becoming a yearly tradition, the UFC returns to Chicago in January for UFC on FOX 6, which takes place Saturday night at the United Center.
The UFC's latest network television special is headlined by another title fight. This time the flyweights take the stage as Demetrious Johnson defends his belt for the first time against fellow speedster and top contender John Dodson. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will also fight for what could be the last time in the UFC, taking on rising light heavyweight Glover Teixeira.
My predictions are after the jump.
This could easily be the fastest-paced fight in UFC history. In all honesty, I believe that Dodson may be the only flyweight that will be able to match Johnson speed for speed. This is a tough one for me to pick. I want to go with Dodson, because of his punching power and the fact that he just has more tools in his skill set, plain and simple. But I'm hesitant based on the fact that I'm unsure about him going into the championship rounds of the fight. History has shown that in each of Dodson's losses, he has lost by decision and it was because of him fading in the later rounds. Because of that, I'll go with Johnson as the safe pick, as he has been in the fire and has shown the heart to outlast his opponents.
If Rampage does decide to move on from the UFC, I'll be sad to see him go. However, if he does decide to continue his MMA career, he may be better off facing lesser competition in another organization. Rampage is still one of the best light heavyweights in the world but he's on the fringe of that list due to his recent performances and will most certainly fall off if he loses to Teixeira tomorrow night. I think he will. Glover is faster, hungrier and better on the ground. He should take this one by decision.
I'm probably looking forward to this fight more than any other on the card just for the amount of trash that the two have exchanged over the last year or so. It'll be interesting to see if Pettis will pressure Cerrone on the feet and how "Cowboy" will respond. He did well with Melvin Guillard but not so well with Nate Diaz. Pettis brings more on the feet, but there's no denying Cerrone's ability to take a shot and give one right back. He'll also have a slight edge on the ground. Pettis' layoff scares me a little, but I'll still take him via entertaining decision.
Pettis has been out of action for a while but Koch takes the cake here, having not competed since September 2011. While I won’t dismiss his ground game entirely, we’ve already seen Chad Mendes lay the blueprint on how to defeat Koch in his only professional loss. There’s no doubt that Lamas is going to implement a similar game plan is this one. I believe Lamas will be able to avoid Koch on the feet and use his takedowns to control and frustrate him for three rounds.
Prelim bouts (picks in bold)
T.J. Grant vs. Matt Wiman
Clay Guida vs. Hatsu Hioki
Ryan Bader vs. Vladimir Matyushenko
Mike Russow vs. Shawn Jordan
Pascal Krauss vs. Mike Stumpf
Rafael Natal vs. Sean Spencer
David Mitchell vs. Simeon Thoresen
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