Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) turned in a night of firsts on March 3, 2012, holding its first-ever Flyweight tournament at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia, at UFC on FX 2: "Alves vs. Kampmann."
The event was setup to have four men -- Demetrious Johnson, Ian McCall, Joseph Benavidez and Yasuhiro Urushitani -- compete to set up a title fight to crown the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's first-ever 125-pound champion.
In the opening fight of the tournament, McCall and Johnson put on an exciting back-and-forth brawl that showed exactly the type of action fans should come to expect when the smaller guys step into the Octagon. After three rounds of action, the judges awarded Johnson the unanimous decision victory.
However, Johnson's celebration was short lived, as a tabulation error on the scorecards revealed that the fight should have been a draw and the bout should have gone into a "sudden victory" round, another first for the promotion. Due to the error, Johnson and McCall will now rematch at an event -- most likely The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 15 Finale -- this summer to see who will advance to the finals.
In the second bout of the tourney, Benavidez was matched up with Urushitani, a Japanese superstar and Shooto champion. This bout had no controversy as "Joe B- Wan Kenobi" knocked out Urushitani in the second round to punch his ticket to the finals. In the process, Benavidez became the first man ever to win a 125-pound UFC fight and the first-ever to have knockout in the division for the UFC.
Considered by many to be the best 125-pound fighter in the world, Benavidez is now looking to earn the UFC's first-ever Flyweight title to solidify his status. But, who will face in the title fight, "Uncle Creepy" or "Mighty Mouse?"
Appearing on Pro MMA Radio, Benavidez says he just wants to fight the best, to prove he is number one in the world at 125 pounds, but is disappointed he will have to wait a bit longer to find out who he will compete against due to all the "madness" that went down in "The Land Down Under."
Check it out:
"That was madness, it was a great fight (Johnson vs. McCall). It was madness the whole way it ended up. I found out it was a draw at the press conference. So here I was thinking I was fighting "Mighty Mouse." My initial though of the fight, was honestly, when I was watching it backstage was, I literally thought it could be a draw and that it could go to a fourth round. They threw in that fourth round, which is kind of a shame, you know, they threw it in to use it in the rare case it was a draw, and no one thought the draw was going to actually happened, and when it actually did it got messed up. I just wished they would have announced the draw at the end of the fight, they could do the fourth round and we can get on to the title."
With the rematch scheduled to take place later this year, Benavidez will unfortunately have to ride the pine longer than expected and watch McCall and Johnson earn another pay-day and more exposure:
"I am a little disappointed, I felt like I went out there and I did my job to the fullest, I went out there and got the win and did what I had to do. And so did they, they went out there and did their job and it was messed up by somebody else, it's not their fault. They now get to go out there and fight again, they get to get paid again, they get that exposure you know? People are going to watch that while I get to sit there and not get paid and watch them fight again. So it is what it is, they made a mistake and its going to be a great fight again and it can only bring exposure to the Flyweight division. Whoever wins that is the most deserving guy to fight for the title, so I'm 100 percent willing to wait that way I can fight the guy that is the best so I can be considered the best. But it is a bummer, I only got to fight twice last year and it looks like I will only get to fight twice this year."
So who does he think will win the rematch, which Benavidez revealed is scheduled to take place on June 1st at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Finale?
"It's a tough call, honestly, I think the rematch definitely favors McCall, because mentally, it has to be taxing on "Mighty Mouse." Him going in and thinking he won, I thought he was depressed and not so much into a rematch. Here he is thinking he won and now he has to go into another battle. I feel McCall is motivated by it. He thought he lost, and basically now has second life with the draw. That has to be motivating for him, he has to be excited about the second opportunity while "Mighty Mouse" has to be kind of down about it. And just the way the fight ended, that has to also be in "Mighty Mouse's" head."
So there you have it.
Ian McCall and Demetrious Johnson will battle it out one more time, while Benavidez, unfortunately, will have to be just a little bit more patient to see who he will face to reach his long desired goal in obtaining UFC gold.
Who will it be? We all just have to now wait and see.
What's your take Maniacs, who do you think Benavidez has a better chance against in his quest for the title, "Uncle Creepy" or "Mighty Mouse?"