It was a tough back-and-forth fight, but John Dodson came away with a split decision victory against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 222.
John Dodson has alternated wins and losses since moving up to bantamweight. He was defeated by Marlon Moraes in his last bout, but was 6-2 at flyweight before moving up following his second bout with UFC champion Demetrious Johnson.
Pedro Munhoz has been surging through the bantamweight division, winning four straight fights including three guillotines. This bout was supposed to take place at UFC Belem, but Munhoz failed to make weight, so we’ll be seeing it at UFC 222. The four-fight win streak brought Munhoz to the 10th spot in the bantamweight rankings.
John Dodson started with a body kick, then a punch to the body. Dodson stayed busy with the kicks, and caught one of Munhoz’s. Dodson landed a body-head combination, then caught another kick from Munhoz. Another body punch followed by another catch from Dodson.
Dodson stayed busy going to the body with punches, and was caught with a body knee from Munhoz. Dodson landed a right hand and a leg kick in quick succession and was catching kicks throughout the contest. Dodson threw Munhoz to the floor off a caught kick and reset.
Dodson began opening up with hooks catching Munhoz as well as a body knee. Fairly one-sided round in favor of John Dodson.
Dodson started the second round with a beautiful combination. Then, Munhoz threw a body kick that was caught and countered by The Magician. Munhoz stayed focused on body kicks, but Dodson was catching them at a very high percentage. Munhoz went away from the kicks and blitzed in with a combination, catching Dodson with multiple punches. Munhoz landed a right hand that got Dodson’s attention.
Dodson began getting hit more often than before, even off the caught kicks. As Munhoz pressured Dodson relentlessly, Dodson attempted a superman punch to escape the cage, but was caught below the belt by a front kick from Munhoz. The round ended after action resumed.
Munhoz came out guns blazing in round three, but a groin kick to Dodson stopped Munhoz’s pursuit. Dodson landed a nice left hand as action resumed, then was caught with a right. Dodson answered by using his speed to close the distance and land three consecutive left hands. Munhoz was getting caught clean as he slowed down.
Munhoz mixed in the kicks again, and Dodson kept catching them. Munhoz shot for his first takedown and got it, holding Dodson against the cage for the final 90 seconds. Right before time expired, Dodson stood up, and both men gave it their all before the horn sounded.
John Dodson def. Pedro Munhoz by Split Decision (29-28, 30-27, 28-29)