CHICAGO -- The UFC's stop in the Windy City had two great knockouts, a champion holding onto his belt, and the last fight of a one-time champ.
Despite a strong start by John Dodson, Demetrious Johnson held onto his championship belt with a unanimous decision. The judges saw it 48-47, 49-46, 48-47 for Johnson.
Unsurprisingly, Johnson and Dodson fought a fast-paced first two rounds. Johnson tried to slow things down in the first round with a takedown. While he did get Dodson to to the ground, the challenger popped back to his feet quickly.
Dodson dropped Johnson twice in the second round, and shook off Johnson's take down attempts with a great sprawl. Johnson seemed to have a hard time even getting close to Dodson to land a punch.
A Johnson knee in the fourth round caused a small fight stoppage. Dodson's hand was on the ground as Johnson threw a knee to Dodson's head, which is an illegal strike. The bout was stopped as doctors checked Dodson's eye and Johnson was warned. The fight went on, but not without plenty of boos from the crowd in Chicago.
When the fight restarted, it was all Johnson. He controlled Dodson against the cage, and threw knees that busted up Dodson's face. Johnson was able to get a takedown at the beginning of the fifth round, too. Though boos rained down, Johnson kept the fight against the cage.
Later, the crowd got behind him as Johnson elevated, tightened his legs around Dodson's torso and threw elbows. It was a creative move that likely could only happen in the flyweight division. Johnson finished the round with Dodson against the cage, and knee after knee after knee to the body and face.
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira
If this really was Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's last fight in the UFC, it wasn't one to remember. He was outstruck and outwrestled by Glover Teixeira throughout their bout. Teixeira took the fight 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 on the judges' cards.
Teixeira's first round was his best, as he was able to take Jackson down early and mount him and take his back. Late in the round, Teixeira knocked Jackson down with a punch and looked close to finishing, but wasn't able to end the fight.
The rest of the fight featured a worn out Jackson trying to avoid Teixeira's takedown attempts unsuccessfully. Jackson threw some big punches, and even jawed at Teixeira during the bout, but he wasn't able to score any big offense.
While this fight will be remembered for being Jackson's last UFC bout, Teixeira scored his third straight UFC win on Saturday night. He looked impressive against the former champ.
Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone
Anthony Pettis won his much anticipated bout with Donald Cerrone by landing big, memorable strikes. Pettis was getting the better of their striking exchanges early, which set him up for a big finish. Pettis threw a kick that landed hard on Cerrone's body, then finished with a punch. Cerrone fell to the ground in a heap, and the fight was stopped at 2:35 in the first round.
Pettis lost his first fight in the UFC after coming from the WEC as the champ, but he's been winning ever since. He has wins over Joe Lauzon, Jeremy Stephens and now Cerrone. After the fight, he made a pitch to UFC president Dana White.
"I want my title shot. I should have had it years ago. People say I can’t wrestle because of the Guida fight, but I had a serious shoulder injury. Now I am 100 percent. No one can do in the Octagon what I can do."
While lightweight champion Benson Henderson has a fight set up with Gilbert Melendez, a shot for Pettis isn't unwarranted. It would be a rematch of their WEC title fight, which Pettis won in the promotion's final fight.
Ricardo Lamas vs. Erik Koch
Lamas won the first round by constantly pressuring Koch against the cage. It wasn't exactly the most thrilling round to have start a card on network television, but it led to a thrilling second round. Lamas took advantage of Koch's slip, and then finished the fight with nasty, nasty ground and pound. Lamas started with elbows, then started with strikes that cut open Koch's face. Koch had no answer for Lamas' relentless strikes, and the bout was stopped at 2:32 in the second round.
Lamas thought his performance warranted a title shot.
"I’ve beat Cub Swanson, I’ve beat Hioki and now I’ve beat Koch. All those guys were supposed to be fighting for the title at one point. I beat them all. We’re all here to be world champ and I am no different. I want the winner of Aldo vs Edgar next week. I don’t care who wins, I want the winner."
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