(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.