The ProMMAnow.com (www.prommanow.com) staff shares their thoughts and predictions on the UFC on FOX 6 card taking place Saturday night in Chicago, Ill.
We take a look at the main card, topped off with a flyweight championship between title-holder Demetrious Johnson and TUF 14 winner John Dodson. Also, Rampage Jackson enters the Octagon for the final time as he faces Glover Teixeira at light heavyweight. Anthony Pettis faces Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a lightweight bout with title implications. And Erik Koch battles Ricardo Lamas at featherweight.
We also take a look at two bonus bouts on the preliminary card as Clay Guida faces Hatsu Hioki at featherweight and TUF 8 winner Ryan Bader faces veteran Vladimir Matyushenko at light heavyweight.
Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1) vs. John Dodson (14-5)
ODDS: Johnson -220 vs. Dodson +170
BRIAN FURBY: I don’t have much to say about this fight because I don’t think it will be anything special. I do like the flyweight class, and I think there will be some good action, but I see Johnson dominating from start to finish. Demetrious Johnson via Unanimous Decision.
JAN GAETJENS: Dodson has been dominant yet unconvincing on his way to the title shot; he has a tendancy to do just enough, but he can’t expect to wait until round four to wake up and win this one. Johnson by Decision
JACK BRATCHER: Mighty Mouse Johnson may be the fastest fighter alive. His transitions and takedowns are so impressive to watch. However, he hasn’t finished a fight since 2010 (7 fights ago). I think a lot of people might be sleeping on Dodson here. I like his power advantage. Johnson may have the submission advantage but he hasn’t submitted anyone in almost four years. I’m going with Dodson here, I think he’s gonna catch Johnson with a big shot and hurt him, and take him out around the third round via TKO for his first stoppage loss (neither guy has ever been stopped).
KELVIN HUNT: Johnson via unanimous decision
Rampage Jackson (32-10) vs. Glover Teixeira (19-2)
ODDS: Rampage +240 vs. Teixeira -300
BRIAN FURBY: I used to be a fan of Rampage, but over the last few years, between his mental issues and his constant whining about everything, I just can’t deal with it. It’s fairly obvious the UFC put him up against someone who can hand him a loss in his last UFC outing. Oh, on a related note – Rampage will realize how good he had it with the UFC (and will try to come back) when he gets to another promotion that can’t give him the fat checks that he’s gotten from the UFC. Rampage will come out with his familiar scowl, but it won’t help him win the fight. Teixeira via TKO in Round 2.
JAN GAETJENS: I love me some Rampage. When I was a freshman in college I actually went out and bought a length of chain for the sole purpose of having it on hand when he fought. But, the fighter we’re about to see on Saturday isn’t Rampage; he’s just Quinton Jackson now. And Quinton Jackson has been nothing but flat footed and overly methodical in his last few outings in the Octagon. I’m really not sold on Teixeira, but I don’t know if I trust Jackson to stop dissappointing at this point. Teixeira by Decision
JACK BRATCHER: I think this fight is closer than the odds show. Rampage looked in great shape at the weigh ins and you know he trained super hard for this fight and doesn’t want to go out on a loss. There’s a ton of hype behind Teixeira and if he targets Rampage’s legs from the outset he could chop him down a la Forrest Griffin. Teixeira is largely untested against top competition, and I do believe Rampage has the power advantage here, but I have to think Teixeira is going to play it smart and not just stand in the pocket and trade bombs. If Rampage connects, he could certainly knock Teixeira out, but I’m taking Teixeira via decision.
KELVIN HUNT: Rampage via unanimous decision
Donald Cerrone (19-4) vs. Anthony Pettis (15-2)
ODDS: Cerrone -105 vs. Pettis -115
BRIAN FURBY: Really interesting fight here. Both guys have excellent standup, are explosive and have some flashy kicks (Pettis especially). My vote for fight of the night. If there’s a finish, I think it will come from Pettis. Longer it goes on, the more it favors Cerrone. Cerrone wins via split decision.
JAN GAETJENS: Fight of the night without question. Pettis will, as he always does, push the pace and use his striking to dictate the tempo of the fight. Pettis by (T)KO.
JACK BRATCHER: Fox viewers are in for a treat Saturday night with this card, and with this fight. Two great kickboxers here are going to stand toe to toe and see who drops first. The only guy so far to defeat Pettis in the UFC was Clay Guida using his “white on rice” sticky wrestling style that stifled Pettis’ game. Cerrone doesn’t fight like that, he’s going to stand and bang and if goes to the ground he’s going to look for submissions. Cerrone has never been stopped via strikes, and only been submitted once, by Bendo in the WEC. I like Pettis’ power advantage in the striking. He’s never been stopped in his career. I‘m taking Pettis via decision or possibly TKO.
KELVIN HUNT: Pettis via unanimous decision
Erik Koch (13-1) vs. Ricardo Lamas (12-2)
ODDS: Koch -155 vs. Lamas +135
BRIAN FURBY: Koch has better striking. Lamas is tough, but just another step on the ladder up the division for Koch. Koch via TKO in Round 2.
JAN GAETJENS: Koch is going to have to defend against Lamas’ relentless takedowns for three rounds, which is a very tall order in its own right, no less coming off a long lay off. Lamas by Decision
JACK BRATCHER: Lamas has the wrestling advantage and that could cause trouble for Koch, who’s only loss was a decision to Chad Mendes, who is known for his wrestling. Koch has the submission advantage but I’m taking Lamas via decision.
KELVIN HUNT: Lamas via unanimous decision
Clay Guida (29-13) vs. Hatsu Hioki (26-5-2)
ODDS: Guida -220 vs. Hioki +170
BRIAN FURBY: This has potential to be an interesting fight, but it won’t be. Guida will hump Hioki for three rounds en route to a fairly boring decision win. Guida via Unanimous Decision
JAN GAETJENS: Hatsu Hioko by decision.
JACK BRATCHER: Guida turned the weigh-ins into a disco. That sucker has more energy than Mighty Mouse on crack. Hioki is coming off a loss to Ricardo Lamas, a wrestler. And Guida is coming off back to back losses to Gray Maynard and Ben Henderson. Guida will do what Guida does, it’s no secret. Hioki’s bread and butter is the submission game. Guida should be able to stifle the submissions and grind out the decision.
KELVIN HUNT: Guida via unanimous decision
Ryan Bader (14-3) vs. Vladimir Matyushenko (26-6)
ODDS: Bader -600 vs. Matyushenko +400
BRIAN FURBY: Interesting fight here as well. Matyushenko is definitely one of the old guard, and 5-3 in his last 8 fights may not look great, but those three losses were Little Nog, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson. Bader has lost three out of his last 5, but those were losses to Tito Ortiz, Jon Jones, and Lyoto Machida. I like Bader in this fight. He’s ready to bounce back and I think his speed and strength will be too much for The Janitor. Bader via TKO in Round 1.
JAN GAETJENS: Ryan Bader by submission.
JACK BRATCHER: I swear I saw Vladimir play with his nipple when Bader was weighing in. Watch the weigh-ins and see if you see it. That may be a sign of old age. At 42 years old, it’s amazing Vlad is still in the UFC and competing at a high level, and still winning against most guys not in the upper echelon. He’s a bit of a gatekeeper at this point. Bader, at 29, is a stud and will beat 97% of the guys in the UFC including Vladimir. Bader via TKO.
KELVIN HUNT: Bader via TKO