Oddsmaker says Demetrious Johnson nearly 3-to-1 favorite over John Dodson in first title defense

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

After weaving his way through the UFC flyweight tournament and capturing the title, Demetrious Johnson is getting the respect of a champion.

The newly crowned belt-holder has his first defense in sight, and it will come against John Dodson. The time and location are as yet undetermined, but the odds on the fight have just been released.

According to renowned oddsmaker Nick Kalikas, Johnson opens as a "moderate" favorite, earning an opening line at -285. That means that he's just shy of 3-to-1. Dodson, meanwhile, is a +215 underdog.

Ironically, it was Johnson who overcame similar odds to capture the title.

When he faced Joseph Benavidez in September, it was Benavidez who closed at around a -260 favorite, with most expecting him to win. Instead, Johnson (16-2-1) used his blazing speed to eke out a split-decision win.

His first title defense is believed by many to feature the two fastest fighters in the UFC.

Dodson (14-5) has yet to lose in the octagon, capturing the TUF season 14 title and then moving down a division to flyweight where he's won two straight. In his last fight, he knocked out Jussier Formiga in a No. 1 contenders fight to earn the right to challenge Johnson.

The title bout is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2013.

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