Saturday night (August 4), UFC 227 welcomed two flyweight artists face off each other for the second time at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Henry Cejudo vs. Demetrious Johnson was nothing more than a simple affair. With Johnson’s impressive record of 12 wins, Cejudo merely seemed like a contender for Johnson, which he knew how to deal with. With a surprising series of events, Johnson faced the biggest defeat in his career at the hands of a rival he had conveniently fought with earlier.
Previous Fight Background – Henry Cejudo vs. Demetrious Johnson 1
With a winning streak that comes from 12 fights, it almost seemed that Demetrious Johnson was the undisputed king of the flyweight division. With all his 11 fights speaking of his caliber, only one questioned Johnson’s ability, in which the “Mighty Mouse” had to face off a raging Joseph Benavidez.
The initial episode of the encounter between Henry Cejudo and Demetrious Johnson in UFC 197 was expected to be a close fought battle, since Johnson was on his winning stride and Cejudo boasted an Olympic gold medal. It was highly probable that DJ would face his loss at the hands of “The Messenger”, because of his ability to stand against deadliest rivals. It seemed to MMA gurus that Johnson wouldn’t be able to knock him off his feet.
And, oh boy, they were so wrong.
Inside the octagon, DJ didn’t even take longer than three minutes to dispatch disgrace to his opponent. Just like the fighters who subdued before him, Cejudo was ready to embrace defeat at the hands of the Mighty Mouse. Last year saw Johnson trample upon title defense record and now nothing could weather his deadly storm. And this is where there speculations about a supposedly victorious Johnson with T.J Dillashaw emerged.
Johnson’s remarkable win against 31-year-old American artist was the defining moment, every MMA fan and expert regarded him as flyweight’s demi-god. The untouched champion was looking to further his winning streak on Saturday night too; however, it was Cejudo’s turn to boast his talent, grabbing the title that he had been eyeing for two years.
A Look Into The Fight
The fight opened with the former champ choosing low kicks, as he managed to strike Cejudo’s lead leg in the opening minute. Though Cejudo tried retaining his form, the Mighty Mouse kept on with his bombardment. Johnson expertly evaded Cejudo’s shots by staying out of reach and only neared him when he meant to inflict some damage. Though there wasn’t any notable action through the first round, Johnson managed to target the lead leg of his opponent whilst throwing some high kicks.
Cejudo seemed submissive to his dominant opponent during the first five minutes of the fight. It appeared that his strings were in the hands of Johnson. The outcome of the game at this point in time seemed predictable as Cejudo continued dancing to Johnson’s tune.
The Mighty Mouse’s supremacy remained intact as there was no stoppage of Johnson’s shots coupled with his adept footwork. Whenever Cejudo tried to counterattack, Johnson was well out of range, making his jabs embrace thin air. Though Cejudo did get a chance to execute his trademark inside trip, the outcome of the first round wasn’t favorable for the Messenger.
The second round saw Cejudo emerge as a better attacker, as he notched up his defense and looked out to execute targeted shots.
In the third round Johnson unleashed his aggression, as he successfully caused some pain to his counterpart rival with a combination of punches and kicks. Cejudo retaliated, throwing in some good jabs, and pulled an impressive takedown. However, the former champ showed why he was worthy of being one by conveniently scrambling back to his feet.
This round definitely saw a shift in the series of events. With most of the fans firmly believing Johnson to be the winner, the round made them re-question themselves about Cejudo’s caliber.
Johnson continued on with his gameplay of executing low kicks coupled with occasional surprises here and there. However, Cejudo’s strategy of a chain of takedowns was the driving force behind his reemergence as a potential winner. Though he failed to cause damage, his remarkable skill made him stand out.
Since the brawl was well fought on both ends, none of the players could showcase a solid strategy. With only two minutes for the final round to close, the cat and mouse play didn’t seem to be ending. But with Cejudo’s unflinching stamina, he managed to get atop Johnson’s back. Though he did bring the former champion to the canvas, he failed to pin him down and with the two scarping off at each other, the round came to an end.
Henry Cejudo was declared flyweight champion via Split Decision.