Reading Between The Lines: Countdown To UFC 191

Tuesday September 1, 2015– Before any UFC event, MMA Fans are treated to a behind the scenes chronology of a fighters training camp. It has been a great tool for The UFC to promote the main event and boost its PPV buys. But putting the entertainment value of it aside, fans can learn a great deal about the athletes set to face off. With UFC 191 set to take place on September 7th at The MGM Grand, The UFC showcased the training camp of the all six men closing the show. The usual back and forth trash talk ensued but when one looks past that, they get to see how a fighter is getting ready. While this will not predict who will win, it does help to decide the way the fight will go….so lets break it down.

Johnson vs Dodson:

We have seen this fight before. In fact the countdown included both men breaking down the matchup round by round. But what we got to see was John Dodson training to be, if possible more explosive in the fight. That will not be the only talent he will bring that night however, as we saw him working on his grappling with an emphasis on standing up so its clear he plans to use his power to knock out the champion and take what he believes he won in their first encounter. But that is easier said than done, as Demetrious John has felt his power before and while it did knock him down, it did not stop the only champion in the young division. The ever confident Johnson, knows what it takes to win a rematch as he has done it twice before against great flyweight contenders. As Joe Rogan points out about DJ all the time, he does everything well and is one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world.

Andrei Arlovski vs Frank Mir:

There is no doubt about what these two men bring into the octagon. As with most Heavyweights, we are sure to see knock out power. The Ace up the sleeve for this match will be something most wouldn’t think about, Frank Mir’s submissions. With 57% of his fights being won via submission Arlovski would be wise to avoid it; and it seems he is. During his segment we saw a lot of strength and conditioning along with cardio. Pushing forward against a guy like Mir usually ends with a guy eating a short hook so if pressure is a plan, Arlovski will need to be ready to eat some hard punches.

Anthony Johnson vs Jimi Manua:

The fight with almost as much on the line as the main event has to be Johnson vs Manua. Anthony “Rumble” Johnson is the #1 contender at light heavyweight, and it is exactly that which he is putting on the line. Coming off a loss to Daniel Cormier, Johnson plans on taking a page out of Robbie Lawler’s playbook and staying active (more on Lawler here). The only problem with this plan is he will be facing someone ranked #7 who is still relatively unknown in the UFC. But Johnson is not stepping into the octagon without learning a few new tricks. During the countdown segment, we saw Johnson working on the only missing piece to his game. With a new coach and all the natural power he already posses, we saw him throwing guys into the cage and then very quickly into the ground. With grappling and his knock out power, Anthony Johnson plans on using this match to prove he has all the tools he needs for another title shot. The man he is facing should not be seen as a sacrificial lamb. Jimi Manua has an impressive record of his own that has earned him the chance to climb the rankings quickly. What he plans to bring to the octagon will be nothing new for him. He plans to hit “Rumble” Johnson harder than he has been hit before. While this may seem like a simple plan, he does have the power to be successful with it. As the knock out history of Manua on the Countdown to UFC 191 demonstrated, he has a few doctor’s stoppage victories which prove his knock out ability.

While in the past MMA fans have not seen a flyweight as a worthy main event, a rematch between Johnson and Dodson might just close the show with a knock out sure to impress any fan, the question is from who?

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