UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson found his groove in the latter stages of his five-round title fight Saturday night at UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson, defeating John Dodson in the main event.
Johnson (17-2-1) earned his third straight victory, including his first successful title defense since winning the belt in 2012 from Joseph Benavidez.
“It was a great fight,” Johnson said. “I worked my Muay Thai clinch in training.”
Johnson withstood the counter-attacking of Dodson that floored him several times early in the fight to mount a thunderous comeback. “Mighty Mouse” constantly locked Dodson up and landed several big knees that opened a cut on his face.
“I got dazed a bit, but I’m in great shape,” Johnson said. “It’s gonna happen (getting hit). If you are going swimming, you are going to get splashed.”
One of those knees, however, nearly ended the fight, as Johnson caught Dodson while the challenger had a hand on the mat. The referee brought the cageside doctor in to check over Dodson, but the former winner of The Ultimate Fighter continued on.
Johnson connected on 80 of 114 significant strikes over the final two rounds, including 50 in the fifth. Overall, Johnson was 181 of 303 in total strikes (127 of 247 significant strikes) with five takedowns. Dodson landed 71 of 170 shots, including 57 significant strikes.