After a razor-thin first two rounds, where McCall's strength and Johnson's speed each seemed a perfect foil for the other, McCall finished the bout with an inspiring stretch of ground and pound on the flattened-out Johnson, seemingly cinching the win.
In a bizarre twist, after being announced as the winner and leaving the Octagon, Johnson was later informed that the scorecards were added incorrectly, and that the bout was a draw. Adding insult to injury, the fact that the goof wasn't realized while they were still in the cage meant that instead of the mandated fourth "sudden death" round, the duo and fans had to wait three months for resolution.
You could do a lot worse, though, given their exciting styles.
Last night (June 8, 2012) in the main event of UFC on FOX 3 from the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., Johnson and McCall collided in a rematch with championship implications once again hanging in the balance. This time around, Johnson maximized his aforementioned advantages to outpoint McCall in another exciting distance contest.
He used constant movement and a wonderful knack for scrambling out of bad positions before they fully materialized, denying McCall substantiative takedowns and, more importantly, the ability to utilize his strength advantage.
Follow me after the jump for our Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian McCall UFC on FX 3 post-fight review and analysis:The fight opened with Johnson circling, offering quick, mostly single-shot counter punches, with very occasional kicks thrown in. Mindful of McCall's strong wrestling and his need to force a physical, chest-to-chest style battle, Johnson consistently refused to let McCall get set, steadily building up a points lead in the opening stanza.
However, McCall -- never one to lie down when the momentum goes against him -- came out fired-up in the second, pushing forward and forcing tie-ups against the cage. He simply tried to match Johnson, even with high kicks, though he nearly always missed. McCall's inability to pin Johnson against the cage, on the mat, anywhere, in fact, proved his undoing on the scorecards.
He simply couldn't get "Mighty Mouse" in a static position, and whenever McCall unleashed a meaningful strike, Johnson was quick to return the favor, prior to scooting away and resuming the dance.
In the third, obviously cognizant of the fact that he was down on points, McCall tried every trick in the book, including a bodacious spinning back elbow from standing as Johnson had his back in a clinch. But, Johnson simply sped away, content to let his advantages dictate, and he even pushed for a couple of takedown attempts in the final minute, as though to punctuate the fact that despite being the smaller guy, he was in undeniably fantastic condition.
Taking a unanimous decision on scores of 30-27 and 29-28 (twice), Johnson will now fight fellow tournament semifinal winner Joseph Benavidez for the vacant UFC Flyweight title. It promises to be a fantastic bout, as Benavidez' blend of speed and unorthodox moves make him a compelling figure to watch. Johnson's one of the few fighters in the game who can match Benavidez in pure speed and athleticism, and over five rounds, their collision to crown the UFC's first-ever 125-pound champ promises to be a memorable mixed martial arts (MMA) affair.