UFC on FOX 9: Johnson VS Benavidez 2 – Sacramento, CA


By: Gian-Simon Ianiri



Saturday December 14th, 2013

Just over 24 hours after the phone conference that shocked the mixed martial arts world, the UFC invaded Sacramento, California for one of the most anticipated cards in network television history. Live from the Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento showcased the world’s best flyweight fighters and their golden boy, Urijah Faber, as we witnessed some great fights, and even better finishes at UFC on FOX 9: Johnson vs Benavidez 2.

Joe Lauzon def. Mac Danzig (Unanimous Decision 30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Analysis: After busting Danzig open early in the 2nd round, Lauzon demonstrated a great takedown game and dominated the 2nd and 3rd rounds on top. Lauzon gained crucifix position and threw some gruesome elbows to the cut of Danzig, making him bleed profusely. At the end of the bout, there was no question who’s arm was getting raised. I too scored the fight 30-27 Lauzon.

Chad Mendes def. Nik Lentz (Unanimous Decision 30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Analysis: Money Mendes rocked Lentz one minute into the fight with a picture-perfect overhand right. That set the tone for what was about to come. A string of takedowns by Mendes and constantly fighting to regain his feet, Lentz was clearly outmatched tonight. When you get taken down EIGHT times in three rounds, like Lentz did tonight, you do not deserve to win the fight. No doubt about it, I scored the fight 30-27 for Mendes.

Urijah Faber def. Michael McDonald (Submission via guillotine – 2nd round 3:22)

Analysis: The atmosphere was electric for the co-main event with the hometown superstar, ‘The California Kid’ putting on a performance worth the price of admission. Faber, 12 years the senior of McDonald came out flying in the opening round with a high-kick and takedown in the first 30 seconds. Nothing materialized from the ground position, but Faber showed McDonald that he wasn’t afraid to bring the fight to the ground. The 2nd round opened with McDonald and Faber traded blows and stifling takedown attempts before at the midway mark, Faber caught McDonald with a powerful right hand to put the youngster on wobbly legs. Soon after, Faber pounced on the clearly-wounded McDonald, and as soon as his neck opened up, the hometown ‘California Kid’ locked in a fight-ending guillotine. Urijah Faber definitely locked up the #1 contender spot with this effort, and at 34 years old, he’s going to be around a lot longer!

(C) Demetrious Johnson def. Joseph Benavidez (KO via punch – 1st round 2:08)

Analysis: On paper, this was as closely contested a fight as we have seen in recent UFC history. You have Team Alpha Male’s hometown hero Benavidez taking on the man who defeated him just 15 months ago for the Flyweight Title, Mighty Mouse Johnson. Both fighters came into this bout in the best shape of their careers, and with this being such a highly anticipated rematch of the first ever Flyweight Title bout, both fighters knew one another’s tendencies and where to improve.

The fight opened up with Benavidez pushing the pace on the much faster Johnson.  Both fighters calculated some quick exchanges before one moment of hesitation by Benavidez ended the night, the fight, and his hopes of winning the UFC Flyweight Title. 2 minutes into the 1st round, Benavidez looked to go for a leg kick but pulled away and attempted a left hook. ‘Beating him to the punch’, Johnson showed that big things come in small packages as he landed a stunningly explosive right cross to the jaw of the challenger, dropping him like a bag of bricks. Johnson pounced on the challenger and threw three or four shots on the ground, but the knockout was already academic by then. Big John McCarthy pulled Johnson off Benavidez, and the show was over. 2:08 into round 1, knockout victory for the now 3-time defending UFC Flyweight Champion, Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson.

Joseph Benavidez (16-4) has now lost twice to both Dominick Cruz (UFC Bantamweight Champion) and now Demetrious Johnson (UFC Flyweight Champion). So Benavidez will likely have to wait until one of the titles change hands before he gets any championship consideration.

Thanks for reading! Next up; UFC 168: Weidman vs Silva 2 – Saturday December 28th, 2013.


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