They say speed kills, and few men in MMA wield it like Demetrious Johnson.
Johnson picked his shots on the feet and with takedowns, as he defeated Ian McCall by unanimous decision in the Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight tournament semifinals at UFC on FX 3 on Friday at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla. All three cageside judges scored it for the 5-foot-3 Johnson (15-2-1, 3-1-1 UFC): 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28.
The man they call “Mighty Mouse” will lock horns with Team Alpha Male’s Joseph Benavidez for the vacant UFC flyweight crown later this year.
“I look forward [to fighting for the title],” he said. “Joseph Benavidez is a killer. I like the guy, but it’s going to be a great fight. I’m going to go back home and train hard and let my injuries heal and get after it.”
He certainly got after McCall (11-3-1, 0-1-1 UFC). Johnson came out of the gates firing, as he struck for a double-leg takedown inside the first minute and later put “Uncle Creepy” on his rear end with an exquisite straight right hand to the face. The blow knocked McCall off balance and left him with a small cut across the bridge of the nose, but he did not accept defeat quietly. The 27-year-old Californian landed a trio of takedowns and a spinning back elbow in the second round. However, his inability to keep Johnson grounded for any length of time proved to be his undoing.
“This time, I just went back to old school,” Johnson said. “It’s about using my athletic ability and letting my mind go free and doing what I trained to do for eight weeks.”
In the third round, Johnson resumed his attack, as he scored with another takedown and put his combinations together with speed, power and accuracy. McCall, who had never before been beaten at 125 pounds, grew increasingly frustrated as the final frame unfolded.
“I’m really disappointed in myself,” he said. “I thought, maybe, I was down. That’s what I figured.”
Silva Choke Submits Brenneman
Brazilian prospect Erick Silva cemented himself as a person of interest at 170 pounds in the co-main event, as he submitted AMA Fight Club standout Charlie Brenneman with a first-round rear-naked choke. Brenneman (15-4, 4-3 UFC) tapped out 4:33 into round one.
Silva answered the rugged and determined American wrestler at every turn. Brenneman landed a pair of takedowns, only to see the former Jungle Fight champion return to his feet on each occasion. Once there, it was clear Brenneman was a man on a ledge. Silva sprawled perfectly on one final takedown attempt from “The Spaniard,” wheeled around to the back, calmly sank his hooks and finished with the choke. A flattened-out Brenneman was left with no choice but to surrender.
Pyle KOs Neer in First
Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts representative Mike Pyle knocked out Josh Neer late in the first round of their featured welterweight matchup. Pyle (23-8-1, 6-3 UFC) left Neer facedown with just four seconds remaining in round one.
Pyle secured a takedown inside the first minute and spent much of the round working inside his opponent’s active but largely ineffective guard. After Neer (33-11-1, 6-7 UFC) returned to an upright position, he backed Pyle down and attacked him with punches and short standing elbows. He appeared to have his foe reeling against the cage, but a beautifully timed short right hand sent “The Dentist” to the canvas and brought an abrupt end to the bout. Neer, who entered the cage on a six-fight winning streak, had not been knocked out in more than five years.
“I wanted to show my right hand and make the takedown, which I did,” said Pyle, a former WEC champion. “He was able to get back up and come a little more aggressive. That’s his style. He wants to come and bring it and be in your face. He caught me with a couple of good ones, and I had enough.”
Former WEC Champion Wineland Flattens Jorgensen
Onetime WEC titleholder Eddie Wineland stopped Scott Jorgensen on second-round punches in a bantamweight showcase. Wineland (19-8-1, 1-2 UFC) closed in spectacular fashion 4:10 into round two. Jorgensen (13-6, 2-2 UFC) had never before been finished via strikes.
Wineland set the tone with a thudding right hand from the start, but it was a stiff left jab that dropped Jorgensen in the first round. “Young Guns” survived the blow and returned to his feet. In the second round, Jorgensen opened a hideous diagonal gash above Wineland’s left eye, leaving him badly bloodied. However, the 27-year-old Duneland Vale Tudo representative responded with a right cross that floored Jorgensen and left him in a dazed state, unable to defend himself. A series of right hands on the ground ended it.
“Just keep me fighting,” Wineland said. “I’m happy when I’m fighting, as you can tell. I’m split wide open. I can feel inside my mouth I’m all torn up, but I want to keep fighting. I’m a corn-fed hillbilly from Indiana. That’s how we get down.”
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