Demetrious Johnson was the winner the first time he met Ian McCall, at UFC on FX 2 in Australia, if only briefly.
“Mighty Mouse” was originally awarded the decision victory when the scorecards were read following their three-round bout, but a short time later it was discovered that the presiding officials from the Combat Sports Authority of NSW had tabulated the scorecards incorrectly.
The fight should instead have been scored a draw and gone to an overtime round to determine the winner.
Now, three months later, the two will square off once again to try and determine who will move on to challenge Joseph Benavidez for the inaugural UFC flyweight championship.
The experience left a sour taste in Johnson’s mouth, but like any true champion, he quickly let it go.
“It sucks, but at the same time, it is what it is,” Mighty Mouse told MMAWeekly Radio.
The good news from the first fight, even though it was razor-close, is that Johnson doesn’t feel like he gave the best he had in that fight. Don’t misunderstand, he did the best he could at the time, but it was his first cut to 125 pounds in the UFC, and things didn’t go as smooth as they could have.
Johnson underwent a new diet that cut out almost all carbohydrates to get his weight down for the fight. Now that may work well if you’re just focusing on weight loss, but Johnson, like any professional athlete, needed the fuel provided by carbs to get him through the fight.
He didn’t have those carbs for his body to rely on. As a result, he bonked, fighting on a nearly empty gas tank by the end of the fight. That’s not an excuse, but an indicator that he had something to learn heading into Friday’s rematch at UFC on FX 3 in Southern Florida.
“Lesson learned,” said Johnson. He didn’t make the same mistake this time, keeping his diet more well-rounded, like his skillset, so that he can go back to being Mighty Mouse from bell to bell.
Even though the fight will once again be a three-rounder and go to an overtime round in the event of another draw, Johnson made another change to beef up his stamina for the rematch.
“This time I trained for a five-round fight.”
Obviously, he’s leaving nothing to chance. If he loses the fight, it will have to be because Ian McCall was the better fighter on Friday night.
Johnson knows that he’s in for another tough go round though. After their first fight, he would expect nothing less.
“I wasn’t shocked by anything about Ian McCall. I knew he was tough. I watch all of his fights,” Johnson said about their first fight. He then added, “We’ve both had another three months to study each other, so it’s just gonna be fireworks again.”