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Tag: Demetrious Johnson

The Unsupportable Opinion: The Flyweight Division Is Pointless and the UFC Should Kill It


(It’s insulting to compare flyweights to children because of their size. They’re grown men, okay? Grown men who just happen to be sponsored by video games and candy. / Photo via Getty Images)

By Matt Saccaro

The flyweight division doesn’t serve a purpose in the UFC — at least not a good purpose.

Now, do us both a favor and read the whole article before you go to the comments.

The oft-mentioned casual fan — you know, the kind of person who’s decked out in TapouT gear, plays UFC Personal Trainer, and thinks “MMA” is an acronym for some kind of governmental organization and not a sport — doesn’t care about the UFC’s flyweight division and never has. This fact hasn’t been more brutally apparent than it is now.

UFC on FOX 8, headlined by a flyweight title fight between champ Demetrious Johnson and challenger John Moraga, drew a paltry live gate of $735,000. Just under 8,000 fans were present. The amount of comped tickets wasn’t revealed. When the UFC visited Seattle back in December with a non-flyweight main event, the attendance and live gate were twice as high.

The event wasn’t a success in terms of TV viewership either. Despite winning the night in the 18-49 year old demographic, their numbers with that demographic were down 40% since the last FOX event. The FOX portion of the card was viewed by an average of 2.04 million viewers. To put that into perspective, more people watched a rerun of Cops that aired on FOX the previous Saturday in the same time slot than were watching LIVE UFC ACTION!!! Not only did “Johnson vs. Moraga” draw the fewest viewers of any UFC on FOX event, it was the lowest-rated MMA event ever on network television.

The numbers don’t lie. Flyweight is the Ryan Leaf of the UFC’s weight classes. So why not get rid of it?

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[VIDEO] John Dodson Goes on American Ninja Warrior, Somehow Loses

Every time American Ninja Warrior comes onto the only television with cable in my apartment (relax, it’s a big screen. A projection big screen.), my roommate scoffs at it and launches into a rant about how superior the original, Japanese version is. The same goes for Wipeout/MXC/Takeshi’s Castle and of course, Iron Chef. And while he’s undoubtedly correct in his assertion that the American versions of these shows are “padded down, pussified desecrations of a once noble culture,” I still give my respect to the contestants brave (or simply patient) enough to secure a spot on any of them. Except Wipeout. I’m convinced that morbidly obese troglodytes with tourrettes are the only people allowed to compete on that show.

In any case, former flyweight title challenger John Dodson recently made an appearance on the Americanized Ninja Warrior, and it’s a testament to how difficult the show is that he wasn’t able to make it past the first stage. This is one of the quickest fighters in the UFC — a 125-pound ball of energy with “ninja, Matrix moves” who regularly competes in such events as Tough Mudder – and yet even he was humbled by the imaginatively-titled “Grip Hang.”

Like his previous battle with Demetrious Johnson at UFC on FOX 6, “The Magician” put in a strong effort on Ninja Warrior but ultimately came up…short (*shimmies, shimmies*). My God, I have never felt so great about being 5’9″. SUCK IT, NERDS.

-J. Jones

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Surprises and Disappointments From UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga


(A triumphant loss for Trevor Smith, and an awe-inspiring punch-face for Ed Herman. / Photo via Getty. Click to enlarge.)

By Adam Martin

UFC on FOX 8 not only provided a number of awesome moments from some unexpected heroes, but it also saw a few fighters who were expected to do big things disappoint in a big way. In the first of a new post-event column only on CagePotato.com, here are three fighters who surprised us at UFC on FOX 8 and three fighters who let us down.

Surprises

Demetrious Johnson: Many expected UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson to successfully defend his title against John Moraga in the main event of UFC on FOX 8, but I don’t think anyone predicted him to win the fight via armbar with just one minute and 17 seconds left in the fight.

But that’s exactly what Johnson did as he earned his first stoppage victory in eight UFC fights, en route to shutting up the critics who called him boring and said he didn’t have what it takes to finish a tough guy like Moraga.

Johnson had all four rounds in his pocket and was ahead in the fifth, but instead of coasting to a win he tried desperately to get the finish and put an exclamation point on his performance, and that’s exactly what he did with his first submission win in the Octagon, a victory that earned him the $50,000 “Submission of the Night” award.

“Mighty Mouse” is always going to have his detractors because of his wrestling-heavy style, and I think his finish of Moraga is a bit of an anomaly, but on Saturday night he deserved all the praise in the world for a brilliant performance, one that has truly earned him his spot amongst the pound-for-pound best fighters in MMA. And hopefully, it’s just a sign of things to come.

Melvin Guillard: It had been over two years since Melvin Guillard last stopped an opponent inside the Octagon, but with his brutal second-round KO of Mac Danzig on the UFC on FOX 8 preliminary card, it’s safe to say that “The Young Assassin” is back.

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UFC on FOX 8 Aftermath: The Flyweights Deliver


(Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

By Elias Cepeda

Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson delivered another exciting, winning performance last night in the main event of UFC on Fox 8. The champ defended his title successfully with a fifth round arm bar submission win over challenger John Moraga.

Long before the submission, however, it looked like Johnson was going to walk away with a clear-cut victory. The Washington resident used his footwork, take downs, ground striking and submission attempts to put on a show for his home town crowd in Seattle Saturday night. Johnson took the two-time All-American wrestler Moraga down at will and worked him over with choke and arm bar attempts before finally securing the fight-ending hold in the last round.

For his part, Moraga never appeared to break or give in. He simply was no match for the champion.

Post fight, Johnson said that, while he is satisfied to continue to defend his 125 pound belt, he is open to doing “super fights” with champions of heavier divisions. “[A superfight] is just something to throw out there,” Johnson said at the post-event press conference. “I’m still focused on my weight division. I know there’s up-and-coming fighters who are trying to come up and take what’s mine, and I’ll be there to defend it for the fans.”

“I think everybody is focused on Anderson Silva, ‘GSP’ and all those guys,” Johnson continued. “But I think we can make some fun super fights down in a lighter-weight division with the flyweights fighting the bantamweights. I know the bantamweights have some things to work out, and then we’ll see what happens. I’m just here to fight and have a good time and put on a good performance for the UFC and the fans.”

Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger’s war of tweets came to a relatively muted climax in the co-main event. MacDonald used masterful foot work, angles and a stiff, precise jab to out-point Ellenberger and win a decision. Scores were 30-27 (twice) and 29-28 for MacDonald.

MacDonald managed to stay elusive while stalking Ellenberger for much of the fight. Ellenberger swang hard in spurts with his hooks behind a peek-a-boo posture, but mostly whiffed. Late in the third round, Ellenberger was finally able to catch Rory with a big shot and take down but the young Canadian immediately switched to offense from his back, threatening to get up with butterfly guards and with triangle choke and oma-plata shoulder lock attempts, before taking his opponent’s back at the final horn.

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UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga — Main Card Results and Commentary


(I got nothin’. So here’s Julie Kedzie looking like a crazy cat lady. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

A breakthrough moment for the flyweights. A Canadian psycho and an American juggernaut. A veteran banger, still doin’ the damn thang. And a young upstart who promises to test the will of the Girl-rilla. It’s UFC on FOX time, folks. Let’s get it.

The main card for UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga kicks off at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, and our man George Shunick will be hooking us up with round-by-round results, after the jump. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and toss your own thoughts, predictions, and one-liners into the comments section. Thanks for being here.

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UPDATED: UFC on FOX 8 Weigh-In Results; Three Fighters Come in Over the Limit


(Props: YouTube.com/UFC)

The 24 fighters competing on tomorrow night’s UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga card will be hitting the scales this evening at Seattle’s Key Arena, beginning at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT. You can watch the action* live in the player above, and we’ll update the results (along with any relevant GIFs) after the jump. [Update: Three fighters missed weight, most notably lightweight Tim Means, who whiffed by five pounds. Details below.]

* So to speak. I mean, really, it’ll just be a bunch of guys weighing themselves and posing at each other.

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Friday Link Dump: Jorge Masvidal Accuses Michael Chiesa’s Beard of Carrying Syphilis, Chael Sonnen Teams Up With The Iron Sheik + More


(Props: UFCVanillaGorilla)

UFC’s Jorge Masvidal Worried About Catching Syphilis From Michael Chiesa’s Beard (MMAJunkie)

The Strangest MMA Stories From the First Half of 2013 (BleacherReport)

UFC Flyweight Champ Demetrious Johnson Eyes Bantamweight Superfight (MMAFighting)

July 2013 MMA Babe of the Month ChelsieAryn Miller (Babes of MMA)

Chael Sonnen Tag-Teams With the Iron Sheik (FightDay)

New Arrest Made in Connection With Kidnapping and Murder of Vitor Belfort’s Sister (MMAMania)

Supercut: Every ‘SNIKT!’ Claw-Sound From ‘The Wolverine’ (ScreenJunkies)

Hero Saves Dying Dog With CPR (Break)

Dreamers: A Tale of Love Most Terrible (Holy Taco)

The 25 Best Kanye West Verses OF ALL TIME!!! (Complex)

3-Ingredient Cocktails for the At-Home Mixologist (MensFitness)

25 People Who Are Way Sexier Than You Are (WorldWideInterweb)

Where are they Now? Following Up on People Who Had Their 15 Minutes of Fame (EgoTV)

3 Amazing Places On Planet Earth That You’ve Never Heard Of (DoubleViking)

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[VIDEO] CagePotato Asks: Does Bourbon Street Care About Little Flyweights?

If Michael Bisping or the UFC’s marketing department would have their way, none of us MMA fans would dare speak a word of the UFC’s tiniest and most criticized division from this day forth. We’re talking, of course, about those little flyweights.

Yes, despite putting on consistently entertaining performances, the UFC’s flyweight division has come under fire since the day of its inception for being “unmarketable” and lacking a distinctive amount of banging, bro. And with the all but completely overlooked title fight between Demetrious Johnson and John Moraga going down on FOX this weekend, we decided to send staff writer and NOLA resident Seth Falvo into the fiery bowels of the infamous Bourbon Street to get some predictions and also ask: Does anyone really care about flyweights? 

As you would expect, the only people Seth was able to wrangle in were either street performers, gypsies, guys in chicken suits, or sign holders for gay strip clubs. As you would also expect, most of them were forced to drunkenly yell over the sounds of carnival music in order to be heard, hence the need for subtitles. Tis a silly place, New Orleans.

Check out the mostly inaudible video above, then make sure to tune in to UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga tomorrow to see if these flyweights can *finally* live up to all that hype they’re getting.

-J. Jones

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Four Hidden Storylines For ‘UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga’

By Adam Martin

There’s often so much going on during UFC on FOX events that some of the more intriguing storylines get lost amongst all the glamour and glitz of network television. Here are four important themes surrounding UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga that have been flying under the radar heading into this weekend’s show. Let us know what you think, and be sure to come back to CagePotato.com this Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT for our liveblog of the main card.

Is UFC On FOX 8 Make Or Break For The Flyweights?

UFC on FOX 8 is headlined by the flyweight title fight between reigning champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger John Moraga, and it’s a fight that could help the flyweight division explode if it’s exciting — or hold the division back if it’s a bore.

The last time that 125-pounders headlined an event was at UFC on FOX 6, when Johnson defended his title against John Dodson. The match won “Fight of the Night,” but that might not be the first thing that fans think of when they remember the event. Instead, they think of Anthony Pettis’s body kick KO of Donald Cerrone, or (for less positive reasons) Rampage Jackson’s last Octagon fight against Glover Teixeira.

It may be because flyweight fights so often go to decision, and the fans, especially casual fans, love to see knockouts and submissions. But it’s rare to see true KO power among 125-pound fighters, and the fact that flyweights tend to be extremely quick and nimble makes it harder for submissions to get locked in.

Demetrious Johnson certainly fits this stereotype, as he’s managed to go 27 rounds in his UFC career without securing a single stoppage victory. But Moraga has been an exception to the rule. Both of his Octagon appearances have ended in pleasingly violent finishes. Unfortunately, those finishes — a knockout of Ulysses Gomez at UFC on FOX 4 and a guillotine-choke submission of Chris Cariaso at UFC 155  — were both buried on the opening preliminary bouts of the cards they were on. In other words, even if you attended those events in person, you might have missed them. Despite being a title challenger in a main event fight on FOX, Moraga is still a stranger to most fans.

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[VIDEO] UFC on FOX 8: Road to The Octagon


(Video via UFC’s YouTube page)

The UFC on Fox 8: Road to the Octagon documentary special premiered tonight. If you missed it, we’ve got you covered above with video of the full episode.

The show takes you on the inside the three top fights from this coming Saturday’s big card.

Bobby Voelker fights Robbie Lawler on short notice and gets a chance to get back on the winning track in a huge way. Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald’s silly intense twitter war culminates in an actual fight between top welterweights.

John Moraga challenges Demetrious Johnson for the 125 pound world title and gets the chance to answer the question, “Who is John Moraga?” Even if you weren’t super pumped for this card before, seeing the lives of these guys and their behind the scenes training should get you at least a little amped up.

Sure, you could do something other than sit on your ass for the next forty five minutes. But, you probably won’t. So, enjoy another fun Road to the Octagon special.

- Elias Cepeda

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