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Tag: Demetrious Johnson

Catch the ‘UFC on FOX 9: Johnson vs. Benavidez II’ Weigh-Ins Right Here Starting at 7 p.m. EST

In just a few minutes, the weigh-ins for UFC on FOX 9 kick off from the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. Funny, I didn’t know they named an arena after Francis Carmont, and in America no less (*lights fireworks and releases flock of doves*). If our past few posts about this event are any indication, three fighters will fail to make weight tonight, two fighters will injure themselves backstage, and the entire attending audience will be consumed in a wave of Godzilla’s all-cleansing fire. Seriously, have you guys seen the trailer for the Godzilla remake yet? It looks insane.

Anyway, Team Alpha Male will look to continue their run of dominance under Duane Ludwig (“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Bang Era!”), but they’ll be facing some stiff opposition in the forms of Edson Barboza, Nik Lentz, and Michael McDonald. So swing by CagePotato starting at 7 p.m. EST to catch the weigh-ins and swing by tomorrow at 8 p.m. for our liveblog of the event.

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Anthony Pettis Out of UFC on FOX 9 Main Event With Knee Injury; Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 Named as New Headliner


(Pettis perfectly executes an off-the-cage “Showtime Gloat.” / Photo via Getty)

Over the weekend, UFC president Dana White revealed that lightweight champion Anthony Pettis had suffered a knee injury in training, but was still expected to defend his belt against Josh Thomson in the main event of UFC on FOX 9 (December 14th, Sacramento). “He’s going to fight,” White said. “For sure.”

Well, not really. UFC officials announced last night that Pettis has pulled out of the match. We have no details on the nature or severity of Showtime’s injury at this time, or if it’s related to the knee injury that pushed Pettis out of UFC 163 back in June. We’ll keep you posted.

The UFC plans to re-book Pettis vs. Thomson when the champ is recovered, but you never know with these things. Thomson was already the second choice for Pettis’s UFC on FOX 9 opponent after TJ Grant had to stay sidelined due to concussion. If Grant is healthy by the time Pettis is, the UFC might just do Pettis vs. Grant like they had originally planned. Meanwhile, Josh Thomson’s immediate future is in limbo, and the famously cursed fighter just saw the biggest opportunity of his career go up in smoke. [Ed. note: We'll start working on his illustrated timeline.]

Pettis’s injury has led to new main events for two upcoming cards…

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Johnson vs. Benavidez II Flyweight Title Fight Booked for TUF 18 Finale Main Event


(Pshht, whatever. Let us know when you guys weigh 400 pounds. / Photo via Getty)

Demetrious Johnson‘s first meeting with Joseph Benavidez at UFC 152 was a frantic, closely-pitched five-rounder that earned Mighty Mouse a split-decision victory and the UFC’s first-ever flyweight title. A year later, Johnson and Benavidez are still the two best 125-pounders in the UFC — so why not come back for an encore?

UFC Tonight‘s Ariel Helwani announced yesterday that Johnson vs. Benavidez II has been booked for the main event of the TUF 18 Finale, which is slated for November 30th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. This will be the third title defense for Demetrious Johnson, who has outpointed John Dodson and submitted John Moraga with a fifth-round armbar since winning the title.

As for the challenger, Benavidez has looked more impressive with each recent outing — which is becoming a trend among Team Alpha Male fighters. Since his loss to Johnson, Benavidez has scored a decision win against Uncle Creepy, TKO’d Darren Uyenoyama, and laid a beating on Jussier Formiga. Joe B has clearly earned another shot at the belt, and he’s a markedly improved fighter compared to a year ago. Will it be enough to make the outcome any different this time?

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MMA Stats: The Top 10 Latest Finishes in UFC History


(Photo via MMAFighting)

By Adam Martin

To me, the most impressive thing about Demetrious Johnson’s performance against John Moraga in the main event of UFC on FOX 8 last weekend was the fact that Johnson won the fight via fifth-round stoppage — only the fourth time in the history of the UFC that a match has ended in the fifth stanza.

The win also got me thinking: What are some of the other latest finishes in UFC history? Luckily, I did the work so you don’t have to. Here’s a list of the top 10 latest stoppages in UFC history since UFC 21, the first event to utilize the now-standard five-round, five-minute format for title fights.

(Note that since UFC 138 in 2011, many non-title fight main events have also been scheduled for five rounds, but only one such bout made this list.)

1. UFC on FOX 8: Demetrious Johnson def. John Moraga via submission (armbar), 3:43 of round five

Believe it or not, you were all witnessing history on Saturday when Johnson submitted Moraga, as “Mighty Mouse” now holds the record for the latest stoppage victory in the history of the UFC. That’s an amazing feat considering that the UFC has staged thousands of bouts over the years, and it’s even more amazing when you consider that the flyweights aren’t known for finishing their opponents. The fight was a testament to Johnson’s will and determination to look for the finish for the full 25 minutes, the mark of a true champion.

2. UFC 117: Anderson Silva def. Chael Sonnen via submission (triangle armbar), 3:10 of round five

(Photo via MMAWeekly)

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Robbie Lawler, Melvin Guillard Top the UFC on FOX 8 Salary List


(Robbie’s body may have been in the Octagon at that moment, but in his mind, he was already making it rain at Little Darlings. / Photo via Getty Images)

According to figures released by the Washington State Department of Licensing, the UFC paid out $1,050,000 in disclosed salaries and bonuses to the 24 fighters who competed at UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga on Saturday, led by main card slugger Robbie Lawler, who took in $156,000 including his win bonus and Knockout of the Night bonus. Three other fighters broke into six-figure territory thanks to their end-of-night bonuses, including Melvin Guillard, Ed Herman, and flyweight headliner Demetrious Johnson.

Check out the full salary list below, courtesy of MMAJunkie. Keep in mind that the figures don’t include additional revenue from sponsorships or undisclosed “locker room bonuses.”

Demetrious Johnson: $108,000 (includes $29,000 win bonus, $50,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
def. John Moraga: $17,000

Rory MacDonald: $48,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Jake Ellenberger: $52,000

Robbie Lawler: $156,000 (includes $78,000 win bonus)
def. Bobby Voelker: $12,000

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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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