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Dodson Loses Unanimous Decision

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New Mexico mixed-martial arts fighter John Dodson fell short Saturday in his bid for the UFC flyweight title.

After five five-minute rounds at the United Center in Chicago, the official judges scored the fight unanimously for champion Demetrious Johnson. The scores were 48-47, 49-46 and 48-47.

Dodson, a Moriarty High School graduate and a former state champion wrestler, has a 14-6 career record. Johnson, from Kirkland, Wash., is 17-2-1.

According to an online account at sherdog.com, Dodson stunned Johnson with punches in the second round. But the New Mexican could not sustain the momentum against the quick and resourceful champion.

In other fights involving Albuquerque-connected athletes:

Lightweight Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, felled by a kick to the liver, lost by first-round TKO to Anthony Pettis of Milwaukee. Cerrone, who trains at Jackson-Winkeljohn, dropped to 19-5. Pettis is 17-2.

Clay Guida, fighting for the first time at 145 pounds, won by split decision over Japan’s Hatsu Hioki (26-6-2).

Guida, an Illinois native who trains at Jackson-Winkeljohn, improved his record to 30-13.

Jackson-Winkeljohn heavyweight Shaun Jordan (14-4) defeated Mike Russow (15-3) of Chicago by second-round TKO (strikes on the ground).

Light heavyweight Ryan Bader (16-3) of Tempe, Ariz., defeated Vladimir Matyushenko of Belarus by submission in just 50 seconds of the first round. Bader is trained by Tom Vaughn of Albuquerque’s FIT-NHB gym.

HOLM TO FIGHT MMA: Albuquerque’s Holly Holm will fight on the Feb. 28 Bellator mixed-martial arts card at the Santa Ana Star Center, it was announced Saturday.

Holm, 31-2-3 as a professional boxer, is 2-0 as an MMA fighter.

Regarding a much-discussed boxing showdown with unbeaten Norwegian Cecilia Braekhus (21-0), Holm’s promoter, Lenny Fresquez, said in a news release he has suspended negotiations with Braekhus’ promotional firm.

Braekhus announced plans Friday to fight American Mia St. John in Denmark on April 13, throwing a possible monkey wrench in a Holm-Braekhus bout.

The World Boxing Council has mandated a fight between Holm and Braekhus for its “Diamond” women’s world welterweight title. The WBC has said it would conduct a purse bid Feb. 15 if Fresquez and Nisse Sauerland, Braekhus’ promoter, cannot come to terms.

Fresquez has said that, by rule, the fight must be staged within 90 days of the purse bid — making the Braekhus-St. John fight a potential obstacle.

BOXING: Albuquerque junior welterweight Fidel Maldonado Jr. (14-2, 11 knockouts) says he’ll fight Mexico’s Jorge Romero (24-4, 21 KOs) Feb. 16 in Cancun, Mexico.

A previously announced March 2 fight in Helsinki, Finland, between Albuquerque lightweight Archie Ray Marquez (15-2, nine KOs) and Finn Edis Tatli (19-0, five KOs) is on hold.

Jacob Maes, Marquez’s manager, said he won’t take the fight on his fighter’s behalf unless there’s a title at stake. Also, Maes said, Marquez has been unable to train because of an ear infection.

Maes said the most likely scenario is for Tatli to fight for some kind of intercontinental title, then — should he win — defend against Marquez.
— This article appeared on page D4 of the Albuquerque Journal

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