On Saturday, January 26th, the UFC returns to Chicago for it's 6th event on Fox for the flyweight championship bout between current champion Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson. The card is very stacked and also features the final fight of "Rampage" Jackson's career in the UFC as he faces rising star Glover Teixeira. Anthony Pettis and "Cowboy" Cerrone will so face off in a lightweight contender bout. There are a total of 11 fights: one that will stream live on Facebook, 6 prelims on FX, and the 4 fight main card on Fox. The card is filled with many big names in the UFC and here are the most noteworthy match ups:
Erik Koch vs. Ricardo Lamas
Erik Koch returns the UFC after sustaining an injury the took him out of the featherweight title bout with Jose Aldo. Koch has only one loss in is MMA career and is undefeated in the UFC since the merger with the WEC. He is a well rounded fighter, but is a submission specialist with 7 submission victories. Ricardo Lamas is currently the 4th rank featherweight in the world and is also undefeated since joining the UFC when the WEC merged. He is a brown belt in BJJ and has strong wrestling skills. Neither fighter is known for their stand up skills, so this could turn out to be a very technical ground fight. Both fighters will be looking to be impressive, because there is a potential title contender spot on the line.
Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone
Anthony Pettis was the last lightweight champion in the WEC after he defeated current UFC champion Benson Henderson and is looking for a rematch. "Showtime" is well known for is elite stand up skills and athleticism, which was highlighted in him landing the impressive "showtime kick" on Henderson in that fight. He's a 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo and a purple belt in BJJ. "Cowboy" Cerrone has for a while been consider in the elite class of the lightweights and is also looking for a rematch with Benson Henderson, who he lost to in the WEC lightweight championship. Cerrone is well known for his elite Muay Thai striking, but it's his ground game that has been his claim to fame since he has 13 victories by submission. This fight is an early candidate for fight of the year, it faces two equally diverse elite strikes and both possess a serious ground game. Both fighters are aiming for a rematch with Benson Henderson.
"Rampage" Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira
"Rampage" Jackson is looking to close his career in the UFC out with an impressive victory, just like the former champion was known for in his prime. "Rampage" is looking to rebound after his two fight skid and to go out with a bang for the fans. He's one of the original brawlers in the UFC and a MMA legend, who's known for his knock out power and crazy power slams. Glover Teixeira is not a newcomer in MMA, just a rising star in the UFC. He was a prized acquisition for president Dana White and a fan favorite. He is one of the most well rounded light heavyweights in the world with a black belt in BJJ and has 12 victories by KO/TKO. Teixeira has finished both his opponents in his only two UFC fights and is looking to make a statement as one of the contenders in the talented light heavyweight division with an impressive victory over a legend. This fight is a potential for fight of the night, as both fighters love to perform for the crowd. I give Glover a slight advantage if it goes to the ground since "Rampage" is known to get caught in submissions.
Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson
DJ aka "Mighty Mouse" has long been considered to be the fastest fighter in MMA. Since the addition of the flyweight division, DJ has been able to feel more at home in his natural weight class. He once fought for the bantamweight title against current champion Dominick Cruz. DJ won the first ever flyweight tournament in the UFC and is looking to defend his title against a fast rising star in John Dodson. Johnson is an elite wrestler, who also possess lethal speed in his hands. John Dodson was the winner of season 14 of TUF in the bantamweight. He quickly moved into the flyweight division also to fight in a more natural weight class and won his two fights impressively. This earned him a title shot and Dodson is looking to become the young generation of the flyweight division. He also has a strong wrestling back ground and is known for his knock out power. This could also easily be one of the most entertaining fights of the year as these two fighters are known for their great athleticism and fearless attitudes.
Other notable fighters on the card:
Ryan Bader is looking to rebound after his vicious KO lost to Lyoto Machida, to get himself back in contender status as he squares off with MMA legend Matyushenko.
Clay Guida is making his featherweight debut against Hatsu Hioki.
Jiu Jitsu stars TJ Grant and Matt Wiman square off in potential lightweight contender bout.