UFC Fight Night: Dodson vs. MoragaSaturday, June 7 – 10:30 p.m. ET
John Dodson (16-6) vs. John Moraga (14-2)Flyweight bout
Line: Dodson -550, Moraga +400
John Dodson looks to earn a title shot as he goes up against John Moraga at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Albuquerque.
Dodson is coming off a knockout victory against Darrell Montague on Oct. 19, delivering the victory in the first round with a 28-10 advantage in significant strikes. Nine months earlier, Dodson had lost a title fight to Demetrious Johnson by way of unanimous decision, but Johnson held a sizable 127-57 striking advantage with five takedowns. Dodson is a terrific fighter that has incredible knockout power for a guy with his small stature (5-foot-3, 125 pounds). Many fighters in the flyweight class can throw a lot of punches, but they usually don’t finish the match in that fashion. For Dodson to get another championship fight, he will have to get a win against a talented fighter in John Moraga, who is coming off a split-decision victory against Dustin Ortiz on Jan. 15. Like Dodson, Moraga’s prior fight was a title-bout loss to Demetrious Johnson. However, this was by way of an armbar submission in the fifth round after Johnson dominated with a 12-1 takedown and 67-32 striking advantages. Both of these fighters understand that the winner has a very good chance to get a title fight, so look for both to be on top of their game. In the end though, DODSON's knockout power will be the difference, and he will get the all-important victory.
"The Magician" Dodson has 16 victories in his career, with eight of them coming by way of knockout. He also has six wins by way of decision, and two by submission, and enters this fight with a 7-1 record in his past eight matches. Dodson will have a big advantage when it comes to the striking department, as he averages 3.68 strikes landed per minute, compared to only 2.52 for Moraga. Dodson is a lethal striker that can end the match with one punch, and that is something that his opponent will not have seen much in the flyweight class. Moraga is a little more accurate when it comes to landing strikes, landing 44% of his punches, compared to 35% for Dodson. If Moraga allows this fight to turn into a brawl, then he is going to be in trouble. The 29-year-old Dodson, an Albuquerque native, will have an easy victory in front of the partial crowd if both guys start throwing punches. However, Moraga could be earning a title chance with a win, so watch for him to really control the fight.
Of his 14 career victories, Moraga has six wins by both decision and submission. He has only two wins by knockout, showing that he cannot allow the fight to become a striking battle. But the former Arizona State University All-American wrestler has five first-round finishes and is 8-1 in his past nine fights. His cardio has been one of his biggest advantages in his career, but Dodson is in every bit as good of shape as the 30-year-old Moraga. However Moraga holds a reach advantage since he's three-inches taller than his opponent. Neither guy is looking to use the takedown (Moraga 0.84, Dodson 0.81), but Moraga (48% takedown defense) does not prevent the takedown nearly as well as Dodson does (81% takedown defense). This is going to be a tough match for Moraga, but he has to pick his spots to throw quick jabs, but make sure he gets away before Dodson throws the big punch.