UFC in Chicago: Rampage's farewell fight & flyweights in the spotlight

Jon Kopaloff

On Jan. 26, 2013, the UFC will put on an impressive card at the United Center in Chicago. UFC on Fox 6 will feature two possible number one contender fights, Rampage's last UFC bout and a flyweight title match. It's arguably the greatest MMA event ever held in the Midwest.

UFC on Fox 6 is one of the best cards in the past year. Will it live up to the hype? Yes.

From top to bottom this is an easy win for the UFC. Most likely Rampage Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira, Anthony Pettis vs. Donald Cerrone and Clay Guida vs. Hatsu Hioki are going to be exciting. Demetrious Johnson vs. John Dodson, Ricardo Lamas vs. Erik Koch and Ryan Bader vs. Vladimir Matyushenko could be great fights.

Six out of the eleven fights feature marquee matchups. All four of the main event fights have the potential to be epic battles, which is a rarity in MMA.

The UFC also appeased the Chicago fans by having three local fighters: Lamas, Guida and Mike Russow.

Although it is a great card, the Chicago event is not sold out. Dana White said at a press conference Thursday that it is close to a sell out and the gate will bring in about $1.3 million. White won't care about the gate as much if UFC on Fox 6 gets a respectable TV rating.

The heavily advertised event is aspiring to be the highest rated UFC. "The last Fox fight on Saturday (Belfort/Bisping) was the most watched show in the history of the FX network with people from 18-49," said Dana White. "I hope we pull a good number."

White shouldn't have to worry with the UFC ads seen by millions during the NFL playoff, the show should average at least four million viewers.

UFC on Fox 6 Preview

Demetrious Johnson (16-2-1) vs. John Dodson (14-5) - Flyweight Championship Fight

Johnson, first and current UFC flyweight champ, has never been knocked out. Almost half of Dodson's wins are from KOs. Johnson is unbeaten when winning the takedown battle. Dodson never gets taken down. If the fight is standing there is a slight edge to Dodson. If it goes to the ground there is a slight edge to Johnson. This is the first ever UFC flyweight championship defense.

Rampage Jackson (32-10) vs. Glover Teixeira (19-2) - Light Heavyweight Fight

This should be a great last fight for Rampage. Glover and Rampage have preached all week that they will knock each other out. If that happens, it will be an awesome one or two round slobberknocker. If the fight goes to the ground whoever is on top will win. This could be Rampage's last fight in an octagon. Rampage said on Wednesday at the UFC Gym in Chicago, he thinks boxing needs a new heavyweight superstar and he could be it.

Anthony Pettis (15-2) vs. Donald Cerrone (19-4-1) - Lightweight Fight

Both are looking for a rematch against lightweight champion Benson Henderson. Pettis beat Henderson, Cerrone lost. This fight should be high paced and technical. Pettis and Cerrone are uniquely gifted. Pettis has an unorthodox, flashy stand-up game and a relentless takedown offense. Cerrone's impeccable takedown defense and significant striking makes him a tough man to stop. Pettis hasn't fought in almost a year, if he shows any rust it could cost him the fight and a title shot.

Ricardo Lamas (12-2) vs. Erik Koch (13-1) - Featherweight Fight

Lamas and Koch have a combined record of 25-3. The winner of this fight will likely be next in line for a title shot against Jose Aldo. Lamas has been knocked out twice and Koch lost one decision. Lamas will look to take Koch down. However Koch has seven submission victories and great takedown defense. Both could fear each other on the ground and the fight could be a striking war. Lamas gets the slight edge because of his striking accuracy and defense.

Clay Guida (29-13) vs. Hatsu Hioki (26-5-2) Featherweight Fight

Guida, Illinois native, is dropping to featherweight and looking to rebound after two decision defeats. Hioki has won 11 of 14 but lost his last fight to Lamas. The 5'7" Guida dropped a weight class but is still facing a bigger opponent in the 5'10" Hioki. It could work to Guida's advantage since he's fought bigger opponents. Hioki and Guida have 8 knockouts and 27 submissions in 75 fights. It might go the distance with the lack of power from the featherweights. Guida's conditioning will play a huge role in the outcome of this fight.

Mike Russow (15-2-1) vs. Shawn Jordan (13-4) Heavyweight Fight

Russow is a 36-year-old Chicago cop, he'll need to win if he ever wants a title shot. Jordan is just hitting his prime and Russow would be a nice stepping stone. Both are coming off loses to top fighters, Russow against Fabricio Werdum and Jordan against Cheick Kongo. The winner will become a contender and the loser will become a gate keeper. This fight will probably not go to the scorecards, 80 percent of Russow's and Jordan's fights end in a KO or submission.

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