The other flyweight semi-final match-up on tonight's (Fri., March 2, 2012) UFC on FX 2: "Alves vs. Kampmann" main card in Sydney, Australia, featured Joseph Benavidez dropping down to 125-pounds to battle Octagon newcomer Yasuhiro Urushitani.
If you paid attention to the odds, this bout really had no reason to even take place. Benavidez was favored huge at the sportsbooks, as high as -900 by fight time. Were the oddsmakers right?
Of course they were.
Benavidez started strong and finished even stronger, nearly submitting his opponent in the opening round with a rear-naked choke before finishing him with strikes in the opening moments of the second frame. Wam, bam, thank you ma'am.
It was clear from the outset that Benavidez was the superior fighter. He was getting off with his punches while maintaining distance and avoiding any of his opponent's offense.
In fact, the "Joe-B" nearly finished the fight on the floor when he took Urushitani's back and locked in a rear-naked choke. Had it not been for the horn, this one was in the books.
Instead, they came out for an unnecessary few moments in the second frame and Benavidez used them to counter a kick with a strong right hand that landed clean on Urushitani's chin.
Or the button, as it were.
The follow up ground-and-pound was academic and we now have our flyweight tournament final. Demetrious Johnson vs. Joseph Benavidez for the 125-pound title later this year, Maniacs.