Kudos to the UWC. Their eighth event is this weekend at the George Mason Patriot Center and it features a superb flyweight fight every MMA fan should be paying attention to: John "The Magician" Dodson vs. Jesse "Mountain Man" Riggleman. I applaud them for giving the flyweights so much exposure and for giving the standouts the opportunity to compete against other standouts within the division, particularly for belts where they are able to have five five-minute rounds.
I personally expect three rounds of ferocious pace pushing and a lot of position jockeying. Dodson, who has fought at catchweights outside of flyweight just to keep his career busy, argues he's never been taken down in a fight and Riggleman is the king of the takedown/guard pass combo. Riggleman, while not as widely known to even hardcore fans as some West Coast flyweights, is one to watch in the division.
In anticipation of this fight, UWC has released footage of their previous barn burner at flyweight from UWC 7: Pat Runez vs. John Dodson. Sherdog.com called this fight the most significant flyweight bout ever outside of Japan. Aside from the rankings relevancy, this fight was interesting because it was actually more difficult to commentate than others. There was never a dull moment and with so much to unpack with technical acumen being displayed at every turn, it was almost too hard to keep up with in the moment. Add to that my own personal excitement as a fight fan and trying to do my job nearly became a distraction. It's easily the best fight I've ever had the pleasure of commentating.
I highly, highly recommend you watch these rounds to see what kind of superb MMA Dodson and Runez offered that night. It's a testament to the skill in that growing division and the unique sort of technical, athletic, high-paced fighting athletes at this weight class can offer. Looking at what's ahead for MMA, the growth of the flyweight division is easily at the top of my list.
The rest of the rounds after the jump.
Disclosure: I am the UWC color commentator.