A scoring debacle back in Australia forced Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall to go to battle a second time, with this go round headlining the UFC on FX 3 card in Florida. The first fight ended with Johnson declared the winner, but in reality it should have been a draw and a fourth round fought that night.
Obviously it didn’t happen, so Johnson and McCall trained for each other all over again and fought with the winner moving on to face Joseph Benavidez later this year for the UFC flyweight belt.
There’s nothing easy about fighting someone a second time, much less in back-to-back fights, but it appeared in the early moments that Demetrious Johnson was the fighter who made the right adjustments for the rematch.
Johnson, who is often called the fastest fighter in all of MMA, was quick and nimble on his feet, popping in and out with punches and keeping McCall off balance. He mixed in a quick shot to put McCall on his back, just to let him know that his wrestling was still on point.
Midway into the first round, as Johnson was bobbing and weaving he landed a perfectly placed punch that popped McCall in the mush and sent him down to the mat. While it was far from a knockout blow, it showed that Johnson’s hands were nothing to scoff at.
McCall wasn’t about to be deterred and in the 2nd round he took over with his wrestling keeping Johnson off balance, and throwing in some brain rattling punches.
As the third round started, it appeared to be the same scenario all over again with Johnson winning the first and McCall winning the second. But this time something changed for Johnson and he came out of the gate like a ball of fire in the final five minutes.
The man known as ‘Mighty Mouse’ was fast on his feet landing punches, and swooped in for a couple of takedowns to make sure McCall knew he was down on the scorecards. When the fight was over and the word came down that there was no need for a fourth round, just about everybody knew the result including Ian McCall.
Demetrious Johnson pulled off the unanimous decision win, and will now move into the finals of the UFC flyweight tournament against Joseph Benavidez. Before he talked about his next fight however, the newly married flyweight finalist paid tribute to his last opponent.
“He’s a tough fighter, toughest guy I ever fought in the UFC. He’s tougher that Dom (Dominick Cruz), all the guys that fight at 135, I felt good,” Johnson said about McCall.
The changes he made between fights made all the difference as Johnson was able to keep McCall guessing, and his timing made everything look fluid and easy throughout the 15-minute affair.
“I just went old school. It’s about using my athletic ability, letting my mind go free, and just going out there and doing what I did in training for 8 weeks,” Johnson said.
It took a few months longer and 15 more minutes in the cage with Ian McCall to earn it, but now Demetrious Johnson has a chance to take home the first ever UFC flyweight title with his next fight.
“I’m looking forward to it. Joseph, he’s a killer, I like the guy, but it’s going to be a great fight between me and him,” Johnson said about the upcoming title fight. “I’m going to go back home and train hard and let my injuries heal, and get after it baby.”