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UFC on Fox 6 blog: Demetrious Johnson overcomes rough round to defend belt

Glover Teixeira, Anthony Pettis build momentum towards title shots with wins

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Associated Press

Demetrious Johnson, top, celebrates with his crew member after he finished the fifth round of UFC World Flyweight Championship on Fox 6 against John Dodson at the United Center in Chicago. Demetrious Johnson won.

Updated Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 | 7:34 p.m.

UFC on Fox 6

Demetrious Johnson, left, fights John Dodson during UFC  flyweight championship at the United Center in Chicago, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Note: Scroll to the bottom for full results from the preliminary card.

CHICAGO — Demetrious Johnson understands the unique workplace hazards that come with his profession.

"It's like going swimming: You're going to get splashed," Johnson said immediately after UFC on Fox 6. "In fighting, you're going to get hit."

The flyweight champion took a tidal wave of punishment in the second round of his main-event bout against John Dodson. But he dried right off to win the remaining three rounds and take a unanimous-decision victory (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) in his first flyweight defense.

Johnson's cardio was his biggest advantage on this night. In the fourth and fifth rounds, he never even breathed hard. He pushed around Dodson and locked up with him against the cage multiple times, throwing enough knees to bruise the challenger's face severely.

Dodson faded after a strong early start. The first round could have gone either way and the second was a borderline 10-8 in favor of Dodson. "The Magician" knocked down "Mighty Mouse" twice and put on a striking clinic against the champion.

Johnson persevered, scoring a takedown in the third round to leave the bad memories behind.

"I got dazed a bit, but I'm in great shape," Johnson said. "It's going to happen."

Dodson fared much better than his teammate, Donald Cerrone. "Cowboy" lasted less than three minutes with Anthony Pettis, who fired a brutal leg kick to the body that ended the fight. Cerrone, who had never been knocked out before, crumbled to the ground and the referee stopped the fight.

"I knew I was going to finish him," Pettis said. "Donald called me out. He shouldn't have done that. He said I was scared. I'm not scared of anyone."

Light heavyweight Glover Teixeira and featherweight Ricard Lamas also showed they weren't scared, winning the biggest fights of their respective careers. Teixeira beat Quinton "Rampage" Jackson by unanimous decision, battering the former champion in all three rounds. Lamas finished Erik Koch with vicious ground-and-pound strikes at 2:32 of the second round.

Check below for a round-by-round account of the main card and stay tuned to lasvegassun.com for full coverage of UFC on Fox 6.

Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson

Fifth round The two embrace at the start of the round and we're off for five more minutes. Johnson fires a leg kick and knees Dodson. Then he takes him down. Dodson may have worn down a bit, but Johnson appears fresh. Dodson tries to drive his way up to his feet. Johnson lets him but unleashes a combination to greet him. Dodson reverses position against the cage. Johnson jumps up and starts elbowing Dodson's head. He does the same maneuver to land hammerfists. Johnson lands a legkick. Dodson comes forward, but Johnson is the one who lands a punch. Dodson shoots for a takedown, but Johnson won't go down. Dodson puts his head down, picks Johnson up and puts him on the ground. Johnson gets right back up. Johnson works his jab, but Dodson counters one of his advances with a takedown attempt. Johnson hurts Dodson with a knee and follows it with uppercuts. Dodson looks like he might be out. The crowd stands, but Dodson starts fighting back. He tries for some knees, but Johnson is punishing him. Dodson circles out. Johnson keeps the pressure on. He may set a record for most knees landed as Dodson takes four more. Dodson tries some of his own, but Johnson wins the last round. It's a close fight, but goes to Johnson 49-46 on the Sun's scorecard. Demetrious Johnson beats John Dodson by unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47).

Fourth Round Dodson hits Johnson with a couple leg kicks. Dodson lets his hands go, but Johnson counters. Johnson dumps Dodson on his back. The referee stops the fight after Johnson apparently kneed Dodson while he was down. Dodson will now get as many as five minutes to recover. The doctors come in to check on him. Dodson hits Johnson first upon the restart. Dodson catches a Johnson kick and tosses him forward. They both swing away, but Dodson lands harder. Johnson shoots for a single-leg takedown, but Dodson stays on his feet. They dance around for a while before Dodson comes forward with a straight right to the neck. Johnson is struggling to get any offense going. But he finally lands a combination that gets Dodson retreating back to the middle. Johnson pushes him against the cage. Johnson tries to fire a knee from the clinch, but Dodson catches it. Johnson continues working the knees once he wiggles loose. Dodson looks for a takedown, but Johnson is all over him. He's kneed Dodson repeatedly to the point that the challenger is trying to grab a hold of the knee to stop it. Dodson fires an elbow, but he can't stop this. Johnson lets some standing elbows go now. Dodson's face is red. Johnson wins another round in a close fight to lead 39-37 on the Sun's scorecard.

Third Round They exchange strikes for the first 20 seconds, each landing a couple punches. Dodson follows with an uppercut but weaves out to avoid the counter. Johnson throws a leg kick across Dodson's body. Johnson eats a knee as he shoots for a single-leg takedown. There's a brief pause because of an eyepoke. Action resumes with Dodson rushing forward. He catches Johnson with a right hand and a knee. The crowd is backing the challenger, who seems to be on a roll since the start of the second round. Johnson grazes Dodson's kick with a front kick, though, and then tracks him down with a combination. Johnson landing a couple more strikes now, but Dodson counters a leg kick with a straight right. Dodson throws to the body and shakes off a takedown attempt. Dodson hits Johnson with a right hook, but the champion uses the opening to take the challenger down. Dodson slides to the wall, but Johnson drags him back to the middle. With a minute to go in the round, Johnson has Dodson where he wants him. Johnson is in Dodson's guard, but fires some ground-and-pound. Dodson gets up but Johnson swarms him with punches. He then shoots for another takedown, but Dodson wiggles out. It's a razor-close round, but the Sun leans to Johnson. The champion goes up 29-28.

Second Round Dodson runs out but gets cautious as Johnson approaches. Johnson throws a leg kick and then a right hand, connecting with both. Dodson counters one of the next attacks with a left hand that hits flush on Johnson's chin. Johnson shoots for a takedown, but Dodson gets out of the way. They're against the fence and Johnson drops down for a double-leg takedown. He gets it, but Dodson uses his athleticism to work his way back up. Johnson tracks Dodson down and lands two straight right hands. The second one seems to wobble Dodson. But he comes back with a combination that drops Johnson. That got most of the crowd out of their seats. Dodson drops Johnson again, this time with a big left hook. Johnson is in trouble and wobbly. Johnson dives for a takedown, but Dodson sprawls. Everything changed in a matter of seconds. Dodson has some real power. Dodson catches one of Johnson's kick and tosses him back. Johnson can't get anything going at the moment as Dodson counters another attack with a right hand. Dodson is getting out of the way of Johnson's advances. Johnson lands a jab, but Dodson counters with a right that stuns "Mighty Mouse" again. Dodson is swinging hard, but Johnson may have re-gained his senses. Dodson gets away from a takedown attempt. Johnson appears to hurt Dodson with a right hand. He lands another, but Dodson is fine. Doson circles to get away and catches one of Johnson's leg kicks. He's got no intention of going to the ground, though. It's working well for him on the feet, as Dodson evens the score. It's 19-19 after two rounds.

First Round The pace starts furious with Dodson circling for a couple legkicks. Johnson does the same when it opens. Dodson comes forward with a combination of punches, but Johnson weaves out of the way. Johnson grazes Dodson with a right hand. He then lands a right hook on Dodson's temple. Johnson is chasing down Dodson. He lands a knee, but Dodson counters with a short hook that drops Johnson. He's not hurt and might have just slipped. Dodson catches one of Johnson's kicks and throws him to the floor. Johnson pops back up and lands a couple punches to get Dodson back. They briefly clinch and Dodson supplies the only offense with a knee. Johnson swings heavy but misses. He lands a couple shots a few second later, though. Johnson shoots for a takedown but Dodson makes him pay with a combination. Dodson lands again. It looks like he's got Johnson's timing down. Johnson bashes a right hand into Dodson's face, though. Bouncing around in the middle, Johnson scores with a combination and then shoots for a double-leg takedown. Dodson thwarts him off at first. But Johnson is persistent and slams Dodson down. He might be stealing the round with this late surge. Dodson gets back up but Johnson nails him with an elbow. They clinch up briefly but Johnson retreats. Johnson presses Dodson against the fence to end the round. The final half of the round went Johnson's way, which is enough to give the champion an early 10-9 lead.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira

Third Round: They get a nice ovation from the crowd as the fight enters its 11th minute. Rampage hits Teixeira hard with a one-two combination. Teixeira covers up, but moves forward shortly after. Rampage has re-discovered some power as another combination hurts Teixeira. But the Brazilian's right hand is still powerful. He uses his striking to set up a double-leg takedown. Rampage is down against the cage with Teixeira letting loose elbows and hammerfists. Rampage sits up against the fence. It looks like he could get up, but there's not much time. Jackson is on his feet and pummeling Teixeira. The Brazilian answers with a big right hand that makes Jackson instinctively shoot for a takedown. They're back in the middle after a couple seconds. Both land a hook. Rampage jabs, but Teixeira counters with a right. Teixeira hits Rampage with an uppercut. Rampage misses with a couple power strikes. Teixeira kicks him into the cage. With two minutes to go, Teixeira scores with a combination and takes Jackson down. Jackson gets right back up, but he's breathing heavy and his hands are down. Jackson circles away but Teixeira catches up to put him in the clinch. There's a knee for Teixeira. Jackson doesn't have much left. He's swinging, but there's no power to speak of. Teixeira is missing on some strikes, but the ones that land affect Rampage. He takes Rampage down again, and mounts him this time. Rampage eats a few elbows and punches before time expires. Teixeira wins 30-27 on the Sun's scorecard. Glover Teixeira beats Rampage Jackson by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

Second Round: Teixeira jabs to get on the board first. He's coming forward with Rampage looking to counter. Jackson finds some early success, so Teixeira shoots for a takedown. It's a struggle, but he converts. Jackson tries to get to his feet, but Teixeira stays on top. It takes Rampage nearly a minute, but he's back up. Jackson gets Teixeira in the clinch and hits him with three consecutive uppercuts. But Teixeira has got himself a chin. He comes forward and peppers Jackson with shots. Teixeira lands a straight right and Rampage's counter is off. Rampage takes a few deep breaths while Teixeira tries to keep the pace up as much as he can. Teixeira hurts Jackson with an uppercut. Jackson's punches are losing steam. Teixeira kicks him to the stomach and then tries the head. He's opened a cut below Rampage's left eye with jabs. Rampage taunts Teixeira to come forward. He does and the crowd applauds a big exchange. Teixeira's face is also red now as Rampage scores a right hand. Teixeira pops him with an uppercut. Rampage answers with a combination. Rampage wins another exchange and Teixeira backs up. It was another relatively close round, but Teixeira pulls it out again. He's up 20-18.

First Round They swing away from the opening bell with Rampage landing first. Teixeira circles him and lets an uppercut fly. It misses and Jackson leg kicks Teixeira. Jackson pieces together a combination. Teixeira lands a straight punch or two, but Jackson counters. Teixeira converts on a single-leg takedown and transitions to Rampage's back. He's looking for a rear-naked choke. Jackson covers up to take some of the sting off of the hammerfists he's getting hit with. But he's not in a good position. Rampage fights his way to the feet and blasts Teixeira up against the cage. Teixeira comes forward with a haymaker but Jackson moves his head out of the way and counters. Teixeira faints and kicks Jackson in the chin. Jackson misses with a haymaker of his own. Jackson catches Teixeira with a counter right hand. Head movement is serving Jackson well as he counters Teixeira yet again. Teixeira lands to the body. Jackson hits with a straight left. Teixeira is swinging hard and often, but missing a lot. Jackson is more efficient. Rampage shoots for a takedown, but can't get it. Teixeira hurts him with a right hand. They clinch up and Teixeira scores with a knee. Rampage looks in trouble after a Teixeira combination. Teixeira drops Jackson with a right hand. Jackson gets back up, but Teixeira hits him with a head kick. Rampage lands a combination with 20 seconds to go. An exciting first round draws to a close with the two exchanging near the cage. Teixeira takes the first, 10-9.

Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone

First Round Pettis refuses to touch gloves with Cerrone to start. Pettis also lands the first jab. Cerrone comes back with some strikes of his own, though, Pettis rushes in with a combination. Cerrone briefly locks up and tosses Pettis to the side. Pettis tries some sort of cartwheel kick, but Cerrone knees him to the body. Cerrone leg kicks while Pettis comes up high with a straight right. Cerrone kicks Pettis to the body and then to the shin. Pettis comes in with a hook. There's not as much action as expected, but Pettis has out-landed Cerrone to this point. Pettis rockets two kicks across Cerrone's stomach. He knees him to the face. Cerrone tries to answer, but Pettis backs up quickly. Pettis whips a kick across Cerrone's body and finishes him with a right hand. Anthony Pettis defeats Donald Cerrone by TKO at 2:35 of the first round.

Erik Koch vs. Ricardo Lamas

Second Round Koch hits Lamas with a leg kick and then a combination. His corner might have told him to loosen up as he comes forward with a right hook. Koch continues to keep his distance, not allowing Lamas to hit him with his jab. Koch lands one to Lamas' chin. He lets Lamas comes in and then clinches up. They break out after a few seconds. Koch lands a straight left. Lamas stalks him down and finally scores with a jab. Koch answers with a combination in the middle of the octagon. Lamas slips as he fires a leg kick and Koch follows to the ground. But Lamas transitions to get on top of Koch. He rains down some hard ground-and-pound punches. Koch's head bounces off of the ground after a couple of them. Lamas is smothering him with shots. Koch looks helpless. The crowd goes wild as blood sprays out of Koch's face and nose. He's really bloody and out. The referee stops the fight. Ricardo Lamas knocks out Erik Koch at 2:32 of the second round.

First Round Lamas fires a leg kick to start. Koch stalks forward, but keeps his distance to evade Lamas' strikes. He moves out of the way of a head kick. Koch flings a leg kick now. And then a head kick that Lamas checks. Lamas looks for kicking opportunities, but Koch is quick to move out of the way. Not much action after a minute and a half, as Koch looks for a front kick that isn't there.They trade leg kicks again. Lamas shoots for a takedown, but Koch stays up against the fence. Lamas isn't about to stop pursuing it. He turns to a single-leg and gets Koch down momentarily. Koch bounces back up, but he's getting pushed into the fence. Koch throws a short jab as Lamas keeps going after the takedown. Lamas dirty-boxes, but neither fighter is getting any separation. Lamas goes around to Koch's back, but takes a couple short uppercuts for the privilege. They finally break out with a little more than a minute left. Koch goes to the body with a kick. Lamas fires to the leg. A spin kick from Lamas is off. Lamas knocks Koch with a jab. Koch moves forward, but doesn't land. There's a combination for Lamas, who locks back up. Lamas looks for another single-leg takedown, and he gets it with 15 seconds to go. Koch gets back up, but he can't steal the round. Lamas is ahead 10-9.

Pre-main card

CHICAGO — Some of the best athletes in the world have showcased their skills in the United Center over the past 19 years.

Tonight, some of the best fighters in the world take over one of the better-known sports venues in America. Four fights, all featuring some of the best talent in their respective weight divisions, make up the main card on UFC on Fox 6, which will start in the next 10 minutes.

Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson will square off with their version of hard-charging, fast-moving action for the flyweight championship in the main event. Before the two elite 125-pounders enter the cage, however, as many as three other fighters could possibly clinch themselves a title shot.

Lightweight Anthony Pettis is the most likely to earn a championship bout in the Windy City. But the former WEC champion has Donald Cerrone standing in his way, and “Cowboy” won’t go down easily.

Oddsmakers see it as a pick ’em fight. Fans see it as one of the can’t-miss scraps of the year. Pettis has some of the flashiest striking in the entire UFC, but Cerrone is solid in every area.

Cerrone has won six of his seven fights in the UFC, so he also has a great argument for a title shot. But Pettis would mostly be assured of one with a victory considering the background.

UFC President Dana White has twice promised Pettis a title shot that he didn’t ultimately receive. Pettis had shoulder surgery after the last disappointment and hasn’t fought in 11 months.

He’ll need to shake off the rust quickly. Being anything less than 100 percent won’t work against Cerrone.

Pettis’ Milwaukee-based teammate, Erik Koch, also fell out of two title shots because of injury. Koch kicks off the Fox card with a featherweight bout against Ricardo Lamas.

It would be hard to deny Koch a chance at the winner of next year’s Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar fight with a victory over Lamas. Both are feared strikers, meaning they could bring excitement to national television from the get-go.

Finally, in the co-main event, Glover Teixeira gets his biggest test yet in the form of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Teixeira is a heavy favorite, but Jackson responded with a “hell no” when asked earlier this week if the Brazilian had fought anyone of his caliber.

That seems to be the general consensus. Jackson says he will leave the UFC no matter the result. Teixeira could get a title shot in the light heavyweight division, or at least inch painfully close, with a victory.

Stay tuned for a round-by-round live blog of the main card action and look below for full preliminary events.

All the main card fighters are going to find it difficult to pry the Knockout of the Bonus away from lightweight T.J. Grant. Grant knocked out Matt Wiman at 4:51 of the first round in a fight that was thought to be evenly matched. Grant picked apart his opponent on the feet, culminating with standing elbows that finished Wiman for the first time in five years. Grant improved to a perfect 4-0 since dropping from welterweight to lightweight.

Hatsu Hioki was the more active featherweight, but the hometown fan favorite pulled out a razor-thin decision. Clay Guida defeated Hioki by split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29). Guida took Hioki down in every round, including a body slam in the second, but didn't mount much offense on the ground. Hioki's numerous submission attempts, however, were not enough to sway the judges.

Pascal Krauss beat Mike Stumpf by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) in a welterweight bout. Krauss showcased his striking, knocking down Stumpf multiple times but never finding a way to finish the crafty hometown fighter.

Judging by his urgency, Ryan Bader wanted to leave behind a streak that saw him lose three of his last five fights. Bader wasted no time in submitting Vladimir Matyushenko in 50 seconds with a guillotine choke. Bader set up the submission by dropping "The Janitor" with a right hand. Bader now holds the record for fastest submission in the history of the light heavyweight division.

A Chicago police officer went down in brutal fashion, as Shawn Jordan defeated hometown favorite Mike Russow by TKO at 3:48 of the second round in their heavyweight bout. Russow dominated Jordan in the first round, out-boxing the former LSU fullback and pushing him against the fence. But Jordan came out on a mission in the final frame, beating up Russow and taking him down multiple times to set up elbows and ground-and-pound that finished the fight.

Rafael Natal submitted Sean Spencer at 2:13 of the third round with an arm triangle in a middleweight bout. Spencer held his own in the first round, but Natal's size and grappling advantages began to show themselves more as the fight went on. Spencer was making his UFC debut on short notice at a higher weight class than he's accustomed to.

The first fight of the night is often underwhelming. Not this time. David Mitchell defeated Simeon Thoresen by unanimous decision, winning every round on every judges' scorecard, in a 15-minute welterweight battle. Thoresen started strong and rocked Mitchell a couple times in the early going, but the Norwegian couldn't ultimately match the American's striking output or grappling acumen.

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

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