After five rounds of fast-paced action Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson defeated Joseph Benavidez by split decision to become the UFC’s first ever flyweight champion.
As you would expect from these two flyweights the pace was fast in the opening round.
Benavidez was the one trying to push the action, but due to Johnson’s speed and movement he was having a little trouble finding a home for his punches.
At times Benavidez would attempt to get his opponent in one place by clinching with him against the cage, but ‘Mighty Mouse’ was generally able to slip free without too much trouble.
Johnson’s best strikes were coming with kicks to the legs or occasionally the body, but overall it was a fairly even round and tough to score.
The second round was almost identical to the first, though Benavidez was starting to find his range just a little more now. However, it wasn’t until the very end of the round that he was really able to score with meaningful blows, first snapping two rights into Johnson’s face, then soon afterwards a more looping right that again found it’s mark, though Johnson didn’t look phased.
Early in the third Johnson drew first blood, opening up a small cut to the side of Benavidez’s left eye with a counter right hook.
That aside the action was pretty even, with Johnson still being markedly quicker than his opponent and scoring with leg kicks, while Benavides was generally being the aggressor and scored his first takedown, though it was short-lived.
The fight really heated up in the fourth round, starting when Benavidez dropped Johnson with a right hand. Benavidez quickly started looking for a submission, attempting get a choke from full mount.
Johnson was able to gut it out though and then got enough space to squirrel out and attempt a heel hook on Benavidez, but can’t finish with it and Benavidez is back on top in side control.
He’s looking for a submission again, but Johnson gets out and back up to his feet. Benavidez attempts to put him right back down, but he gets it wrong and it’s ‘Mighty Mouse’ who ends up on top.
He’s not able to keep him there though and they get back up. Two quick takedowns from Johnson then closes out the round.
Onto the final round and it’s Johnson who looks a little fresher and he’s now going all-out on the takedown front, and doing so in impressive fashion, twice hoisting Benavidez high in the air and slamming him to the mat.
After that the two went back to exchanging on the feet, but with neither man able to connect in a big way it’s down to the judges to the separate these two.
It was a close fight and the decision reflected that with a split decision verdict being rendered. It’s Demetrious Johnson who gets the nod from two of the judges though (48-47, 47-48, 49-46) and so he’s crowned as the UFC’s first ever flyweight champion.