Currently: 87° | Complete forecast | Log in

UFC on Fox 6 breakdown, betting odds and picks

Demetrious Johnson favored at a 2-to-1 clip to defend his flyweight title for first time

Image

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Demetrious Johnson holds the winning belt after defeating Joseph Benavidez during the flyweight championship title bout at UFC 152 in Toronto on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012.

UFC on Fox 6 marks a fresh beginning, one that the world’s largest mixed martial arts organization can’t wait to undergo.

It’s the first major event of the year for the UFC, which wants nothing more than to leave 2012 behind and start anew with its marquee events. The previous 12 months consisted of the most injury-marred year in the history of the UFC.

Out of 17 Fox and pay-per-view cards, eight lost their announced main events to injuries or other factors. Another event, UFC 151, was canceled altogether.

The UFC is hoping for some better luck in 2013, and it’s off to a good start with its first network television card of the year. None of the three headlining fights have undergone any changes since they were announced late last year.

The Sun picks panel is starting new alongside the UFC. Records reset to 0-0 for UFC on Fox 6 after KSNV’s Kevin West won last year’s competition with a 115-63 mark.

2011 champion Case Keefer (103-75 last year) from the Sun, ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto (110-68), ESPN Radio’s Steve Cofield (106-72) and the Sun’s Ray Brewer (88-90) are back for another shot at prognostication glory.

Check below for a breakdown, betting odds and picks from the 11 fights at Saturday’s UFC on Fox 6 in Chicago.

John Dodson

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’3''
  • Weight: 125
  • UFC record 3-0
  • MMA record 14-5
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: +180

Demetrious Johnson

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’3''
  • Weight: 125
  • UFC record 4-1-1
  • MMA record 16-2-1
  • Out of: Kirkland, Wash.
  • Betting line: -220

Flyweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Second-round TKO victory over Jussier Formiga at UFC on FX 6.

Punch list: “The Magician” also ditched his natural 125-pound weight class to first get into the UFC and succeeded. Dodson ran through the 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” to win the bantamweight tournament, memorably knocking out favorite T.J. Dillashaw in the first round of the finals. He knocked out Formiga, the man who used to be considered the best 125-pound fighter in the world, and beat Tim Elliott upon his return to flyweight to earn this title shot.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Johnson

Cofield: Johnson

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win against Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152.

Punch list: “Mighty Mouse” is even small for the flyweight division, which makes his run at bantamweight in the WEC and UFC all the more impressive. He gave 135-pound champion Dominick Cruz 25 minutes of hell and beat mainstays like Miguel Torres and Damacio Page. So maybe it’s time to stop calling his dismantling of Benavidez for the inaugural flyweight belt “an upset.” Maybe Johnson should have been the favorite all along.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Johnson

Brewer: Johnson

Okamoto: Johnson

Glover Teixeira

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 204
  • UFC record 2-0
  • MMA record 19-2
  • Out of: San Luis Obispo, Calif.
  • Betting line: -300

Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6’1''
  • Weight: 211
  • UFC record 7-4
  • MMA record 32-10
  • Out of: Irvine, Calif.
  • Betting line: +220

Light Heavyweight Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: Defeated Fabio Maldonaldo by TKO (doctor stoppage) at UFC 153.

Punch list: Jackson thinks the UFC is trying to set him up for a fall on his way out of the promotion, and it’s not hard to see why. Teixeira is a beast, the rare fighter that blends elite knockout power — which he’s shown in each of his two octagon appearances — with a black-belt level jiu-jitsu game. UFC President Dana White says no one wants to fight the rising Brazilian.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Teixeira

Cofield: Teixeira

Last fight: Lost a unanimous decision to Ryan Bader at UFC 144.

Punch list: If “Rampage” indeed lives up to his word and makes this his final UFC fight, his legacy will remain complicated. He’s a former champion, which secures his place history, but there’s always been a feeling that Jackson could have done much more. His loss to Forrest Griffin, when he lost his belt, and recent two-fight skid are examples. Rampage has also engaged in a fair amount of tiffs with the UFC, some of which sounded trivial.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Jackson

Brewer: Teixeira

Okamoto: Teixeira

Donald Cerrone

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 156
  • UFC record 6-1
  • MMA record 19-4
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: -110

Anthony Pettis

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 15-2
  • Out of: Milwaukee
  • Betting line: -120

Lightweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: First-round knockout victory over Melvin Guillard at UFC 150.

Punch list: “Cowboy” is probably deserving of a title shot of his own, but it’s more up in the air if he defeats Pettis. That’s what happens when a fighter already has two losses to the current champion, Benson Henderson. Cerrone was in no hurry for a championship fight during his four-fight win streak in 2011, but sounds more anxious now. He’s called out Pettis for three years and reacted negatively when injuries pushed this back meeting.

Staff picks:KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Pettis

Cofield: Pettis

Last fight: First-round knockout over Joe Lauzon at UFC 144.

Punch list: He’s only been in the UFC for two years, but Pettis has already missed out on two promised title fights. Beating Cerrone would give him a three-fight streak and make it impossible to deny the former WEC champion, especially if Benson Henderson stays champion. Pettis is the only fighter in the UFC to hold a win over Henderson, which he did with the memorable “Showtime” kick at the final WEC event.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Pettis

Brewer: Pettis

Okamoto: Pettis

Ricardo Lamas

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’8''
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 3-0
  • MMA record 12-2
  • Out of: Miami
  • Betting line: +120

Erik Koch

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 5’10''
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 2-0
  • MMA record 13-1
  • Out of: Milwaukee
  • Betting line: -150

Featherweight Bout

Main Card Opener

Last fight: Defeated Hatsu Hioki by unanimous decision at UFC on FX 4.

Punch list: Lamas must feel fortunate to be in this position. If he can upset Koch, he goes from being a fighter near the top to one at the top. He seemed like a middle-of-the-road lightweight in the WEC with a 4-2 record, but has improved and made the most of a drop to featherweight in the UFC.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Koch

Cofield: Koch

Last fight: Won a unanimous decision over Jonathan Brookins at UFC Fight Night 25.

Punch list: Koch must feel unlucky to be in this position. He was twice scheduled to face Jose Aldo for the 145-pound championship last year, but got injured before both fights. The UFC stuck beside replacement Frankie Edgar for the next title shot, leaving Koch’s future uncertain. An impressive win here, however, would likely clinch him the next opportunity.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Koch

Brewer: Lamas

Okamoto: Koch

Matt Wiman

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 9-4
  • MMA record 15-6
  • Out of: Arvada, Colo.
  • Betting line: -110

T.J. Grant

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 6-3
  • MMA record 19-5
  • Out of: Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia
  • Betting line: -120

Lightweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Submitted Paul Sass in the first round at UFC on FUEL TV 5.

Punch list: Wiman’s last win was one that got people talking. He disposed of one of the brightest prospects in the lightweight division, breaking the undefeated start to Sass’ career. That he did with a submission, the method in which Sass had won 12 of 13 fights, made the win all the more memorable.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Wiman

Cofield: Wiman

Last fight: Won a unanimous decision over Evan Dunham at UFC 152.

Punch list: The grappler has broken out of the win-one-lose-one pattern that defined his first two years in the UFC. Grant’s now won three in a row and on the verge of breaking out in a major way. He boasts 13 wins by submission, but Wiman has never lost by that method.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Wiman

Brewer: Wiman

Okamoto: Grant

Hatsu Hioki

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’11’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 26-5-2
  • Out of: Nagoya, Japan
  • Betting line: +200

Clay Guida

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 5’7’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 9-7
  • MMA record 29-13
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: -105

Featherweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Lost to Ricardo Lamas by unanimous decision at UFC on FX 4.

Punch list: Add Hioki to the list of foreign fighters who failed to live up to the hype upon arriving in the UFC. Hioki’s beatdown of Bart Palaszewski at UFC 144 was impressive, but a controversial win over George Roop at UFC 137 and the loss to Lamas took away from his mystique. A win over an established name like Guida, however, could help him get it back.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Guida

Cofield: Guida

Last fight: Split-decision loss to Gray Maynard at UFC on FX 4.

Punch list: Guida reinvents himself at featherweight here after coming painfully close to a title shot at lightweight. “The Carpenter” came within one round of getting past Benson Henderson to fight then-champion Frankie Edgar at UFC on Fox 1. He should find a quicker path to the top at 145 pounds. The division isn’t as deep and Guida has name value that other fighters don’t.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Guida

Brewer: Guida

Okamoto: Guida

Vladimir Matyushenko

  • Age: 42
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 7-4
  • MMA record 26-6
  • Out of: El Segundo, Calif.
  • Betting line: +400

Ryan Bader

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 7-3
  • MMA record 14-3
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: -600

Light Heavyweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: First-round TKO loss to Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 141.

Punch list: “The Janitor” returns for the first time in more than a year in Chicago. UFC President Dana White refers to Matyushenko as “a gatekeeper” in the light heavyweight division. Fighters can’t cross over to top competition if they can’t beat Matyushenko, who’s somewhere square in the middle.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Bader

Cofield: Bader

Last fight: Second-round knockout loss against Lyoto Machida at UFC on Fox 4.

Punch list: In Bader’s last five fights, he’s 2-3. The former Arizona State wrestler once looked like a potential future champion, but his development seems to have stunted in the last two years. But he’s still confident he can reach the promise he showed in winning “The Ultimate Fighter” 8 and his first five bouts in the octagon.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Bader

Brewer: Bader

Okamoto: Bader

Shawn Jordan

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 250
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 13-4
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: +165

Mike Russow

  • Age: 36
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 248
  • UFC record 4-1
  • MMA record 15-2
  • Out of: Alexandria, Minn.
  • Betting line: -215

Heavyweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Lost to Cheick Kongo by unanimous decision at UFC 149.

Punch list: With the tedious nature of the Kongo loss, Jordan could really use a victory here. Another uninspiring loss would probably cost the former LSU fullback his job. He had successful runs in Strikeforce and Bellator before coming over to the UFC and won the 2007 BCS national championship as a member of the Bayou Bengals.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Russow

Cofield: Jordan

Last fight: First-round TKO loss to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 147.

Punch list: For the second straight year the Chicago police officer gets a hometown fight. There was more buzz around him at this time a year ago as he was riding an undefeated streak in the UFC. The lopsided nature of the Werdum fight confirmed suspicions that he’ll run into a bundle of trouble against the heavyweight division’s best.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Jordan

Brewer: Jordan

Okamoto: Jordan

Mike Stumpf

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 11-3
  • Out of: Crystal Lake, Ill.
  • Betting line: +180

Pascal Krauss

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 10-1
  • Out of: Milwaukee
  • Betting line: -240

Welterweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: First-round submission loss to T.J. Waldburger at UFC Fight Night 25.

Punch list: Wrestling and grappling are Stumpf’s strengths. He’s a member of Team Curran, training alongside UFC veteran Jeff Curran and Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran. Injuries have kept him out of the octagon for more than a year.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Stumpf

Cofield: Krauss

Last fight: Unanimous-decision loss to John Hathaway at UFC on Fox 3.

Punch list: Out to become a more well rounded fighter, the German left home to join Duke Roufus’ fight team in Wisconsin. He trains alongside fighters like Anthony Pettis and Erik Koch. All three of them being on the same training schedule for this event could prove helpful.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Stumpf

Brewer: Krauss

Okamoto: Stumpf

Sean Spencer

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 9-1
  • Out of: Dallas
  • Betting line: +190

Rafael Natal

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 2-2-1
  • MMA record 14-4-1
  • Out of: New York
  • Betting line: -250

Middleweight Bout

FX Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision victory over Evan Cutts at Legacy Fighting Championships 13.

Punch list: The UFC plucked “Black Magic” out of a scheduled Legacy Fighting Championships fight less than two weeks ago when Magnus Cedenblad went down with an injury. Spencer is game on the feet, but may want to stay off of the ground where he was submitted for his only loss.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Natal

Cofield: Natal

Last fight: Knocked out by Andrew Craig at UFC on FUEL TV 4.

Punch list: “Sapo” can beat almost anyone at 185 pounds on the ground. He’s a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with seven career submission victories. The problem comes in getting opponents down. Natal doesn’t have a strong wrestling, so most of his UFC fights have turned into striking affairs.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Spencer

Brewer: Natal

Okamoto: Natal

David Mitchell

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 0-2
  • MMA record 11-2
  • Out of: Santa Rosa, Calif.
  • Betting line: +175

Simeon Thoresen

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 17-3-1
  • Out of: Oslo, Norway
  • Betting line: -225

Welterweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Lost by unanimous decision to Paulo Thiago at UFC 134.

Punch list: “Daudi” gets a second chance at making it in the UFC after he went 0-2 in his first run. He’s a strong wrestler and established submission artist. He won several grappling tournaments while also participating in MMA.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Thoresen

Cofield: Mitchell

Last fight: First-round knockout loss against Seth Baczynski at UFC 152.

Punch list: Signed for the UFC’s event in Sweden last year, Thoresen could earn a second bout close to home with a victory here. He should be able to hold his own striking, but will need to thwart some takedown attempts from Mitchell.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Thoresen

Brewer: Mitchell

Okamoto: Mitchell

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy