MMAFrenzy.com concludes its preview of UFC on Versus 6 with a new take on our head-to-head breakdowns. Each day we have taken a look at a each fight from Saturday’s main card, leading up to the main event.
UFC on Versus 6 takes place this Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
UFC Bantamweight Championship fight- Dominick Cruz (c) versus Demetrious Johnson
Keys for the Champion (Bryan Robison)-
For the first time since his reign as bantamweight champion began, Dominick Cruz will have an opponent who can match him in speed. Demetrious Johnson will be able to counter against Cruz’ wiry punches and looping kicks by using his own impressive speed. Because of this, we might see a different Cruz on Saturday.
While his speed is well known, he is also known for his unorthodox striking. It fooled previous opponents, such as Joseph Benavidez and Scott Jorgensen. While he most likely will not be able to knock you unconscious with the wide array of strikes, they are effective in canceling out his opponent’s. Cruz has displayed strong wrestling, even though he does not rely on it as much as he used to, due to his long advantageous frame at 135 pounds.
That pedigree will more than likely need to be on display against Johnson. Johnson’s lone loss came against Brad Pickett, who was able to negate Johnson’s wrestling in the latter two rounds, and took the unanimous decision. Expect a bout that is similar to his two impressive bouts with Joseph Benavidez. Cruz came out on top in both by decision, utilizing his length and reach advantage against the shorter opponent.
Keys for the Challenger (CL)- Demetrious Johnson feels the need… the need for speed. Ok so Top Gun references aside, this is likely the most important weapon in his arsenal. Cruz nearly always enjoys a considerable speed advantage over his opponents but in this case, Johnson is the faster fighter. The one problem for Johnson is that his usual wrestling advantage is gone against Cruz. So he must use his speed to close distance and stalk Cruz the majority of the fight. With this style, cutting the ring is paramount as it allows you to trap your opponent. In doing so, Johnson can attempt to dictate where the action takes place.
In Cruz’s last bout with Urijah Faber, Faber looked his best when he went on the attack versus Cruz. If Johnson goes on the attack, utilizes the good kickboxing that he has shown earlier in his career, and counter-wrestles, he can pull off a victory. While most people are used to seeing one or two move wrestling in the octagon, Johnson must use what is known as “shot-reshot” in the wrestling world. What that means is that he must parry Cruz’s shot and then immediately shoot his own shot on the champion. Often times in college there can be multiple reshots in one flurry. With these fighters’ speed it can easily happen here. Johnson has to redirect Cruz’s shots in order to have any chance in this fight. If he cannot, this fight could look a lot like his fight with Brad Pickett.
While Johnson’s future may lie at a flyweight, he still has the tools to stalk, dictate the location of the action, and outstrike the champion in his bid for the belt. If he accomplishes only two out of three of these he can still become the champion in a hard fought decision.
UFC on Versus 6 Main Card
UFC bantamweight title fight- Dominick Cruz (c) vs. Demetrious Johnson